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Andover RFC 2nd XV - Match centre

Trojans FC 2nd XV
Andover 2nd XV
Sat 9 Dec 14:00 - Hampshire Merit Table - Solent League 1 Full time

Andover 2nd XV vs Trojans 2nd XV

Hinds hand Trojan's their first win!

Andover 2nd XV vs Trojans 2nd XV

The Hinds travelled to Trojans expecting another win before Christmas and this was to be precisely the attitude that cost them the victory. Confident after a string of wins the Hinds scored two quick tries in the first ten minutes.

Each came through continued pressure and structured play. @James Byrne came back from injury to make another strong performance repeatedly punching through the Trojans defence from Outside Centre.

One of the tries came from some fantastic work from the front row pairing of legend @Samson Andrew John Earle and youngster @Jack Cooper ; Samson had the hands and fancy footwork to make the space and Jack had the pace and power to score the points. The other came from veteran @David Catt ; Trojans couldn't match his pace and he scored in the corner.
Soon after this Andover became overconfident. The offloads that had fed some fantastic flowing play became less clinical and more balls began to be dropped. Less players committed to rucks as they wanted to be ready for the next play and this allowed the powerful Trojans pack to begin to turn over Andover ball.

Trojans are a big physical team and they quickly realised that they had Andover in the line out. This was an advantage they ruthlessly pursued all game. Their first try game from a penalty in the Andover 22 that they kicked for the corner. Andover were unable to stop the maul and Trojans got on the score board. This should have been a wake-up call but Andover continued to play as if they were 50 points up and not 5.

This, and some lack of discipline, allowed Trojans to score again just before half time. These were all errors that Andover had made in other games but had got away with, but it wasn’t going to be the case this time. There was another ten-minute period where a confident and composed Andover strung nearly 20 phases together in the Trojans half and seemed sure to score but after more ill-discipline a penalty allowed the home team to kick for touch.

Andover started the second half pinned down in their own 22 with Trojans relentlessly attacking from both the scrum and the line-out. The Hinds met every attack and managed to turn the ball over several times but each time the Trojans lineout from the kick to touch gave them another attacking platform. Eventually Trojans found a way through and went in front for the first time in the game.

Andover continued to look lacklustre and even when they got the ball it seemed to end in handling errors or turned over ball. There were flashes of brilliance with @craig dunsdon in particular making some penetrating runs but Andover seemed to have lost the ability to string more than a few phases together.

Chris Mumford was then shown an entirely fair, warranted and deserved yellow card; the referee was left absolutely no choice when he slapped the ball out of the Trojans Scrum Half’s hands from the floor of the ruck. Trojans continued to apply pressure and scored another try, which they converted, to leave them 12 points up with 15 minutes left. At this point the Hinds finally woke up, realising that unless they did something drastic they would lose this game.

The solid Andover scrum was further bolstered with @Alex Arter coming on at hooker; having turned 18 the day before and finally being eligible to play in his chosen position. His quick feet ensured that Andover won several scrums against the head and his quick jumping began to cause problems for Trojans in the Line Out. At one point Alex seemed to be clear through for a try when the referee whistled due to some fisticuffs at the preceding ruck.

Andover rallied towards the end and succeeded in scoring a try with 5 minutes left. Youngster Charlie Duval scoring after a nice offload in his debut for the Hinds. After the restart Andover piled the pressure onto Trojans and when it seemed that the Trojans defensive would crack they managed to recover an ill thought out grubber kick and ended the game.

While the Hinds only played well for a fraction of the game this should take absolutely nothing from Trojans. They played to their strengths and contained Andover throughout the match. There is much work to be done over the next week before Andover face Eastleigh 2nd XV at the Goodship next Saturday.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Winchester 2nd XV 9 23
2. Andover 2nd XV 9 22
3. Trojans FC 2nd XV 12 18
4. Tottonians 2nd XV 4 16
5. Gosport & Fareham RFC Ltd 2nd XV Men 5 14
6. Portsmouth 2nd XV 4 14
7. Eastleigh 2nd XV 4 13

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