Match report from Greeno (Vice Chairman and bus driver)
Pumas headed north at the weekend along the A32, passing the famous watercress beds near Alresford, destination Alton, a team that beat the Pumas 17-8 in last year’s campaign, and a team the Pumas would face early this season.
It represented a good litmus test on how the team was progressing, and offered the coaches a final chance to look at players before the campaign begins next weekend at home against Romsey.
After early possession from Alton Pumas settled into the game and started to gain territorial advantage, ensuring Alton were pinned back in their half. Pumas were dominate, but full of individual mistakes that stopped them from creating any damage to the score board.
The Puma scrum was functional, although hampered by Alton’s pack pushing too soon, but the improvements in the Puma scrum are starting to come good. The line out functioned well with two pods ensuring good options, with jumpers Tom O Grady and Chris Kitson securing good ball.
So early dominance, but nothing to show on the scoreboard, well that was about to change.
A great run from Robson Kashora in the centres creating chaos and sucking in players, he then offloaded the ball to Sean Nuttall who crossed the try line. In fact it was again Sean Nuttall who quickly added more points to the board with his second try of the game.
Pumas continued to dominate up to the half way mark, and went into half time break with a 0-10 point lead.
Changes were made at half time, and the boys once again imposed themselves on Alton second half. Pumas had a scrum just inside the Alton half, quick ball from the scrum allowed Lewis Crowley to show exceptional turn of pace to break the defensive line and get beyond it, with Pumas in support, quick ball through the hands saw Lee Giles collect and score a fantastic team try.
Pumas had now hit their straps and really started to dominate the game. A great smash up ball through the middle by Robson Kashora created the inevitable chaos. Quick recycled ball out through the hands found full back Robbie Connell who finished off another great team try for the Pumas.
Next opportunity for the Pumas came with a scrum on the Alton 5m line. A Great darting run from scrum half Matt John, who then cut inside and passed to Sean Nuttall who scored his 3rd try of the day.
Alton battled hard all afternoon and credit to them never gave up. They pushed the Pumas deep into their own half, which resulted in a line out to them. Alton’s forwards created a clean catch and drive which produced their first try.
Pumas rallied from this score to again put pressure on Alton through the middle of the park. A great interchange of passing released Sam Floyd who run in under the posts for another try.
Alton battled back hard, and a passage of passing, and driving plays eventually punctured the Puma defence allowing them a second try.
Full time Alton 10-34 Pumas
It was a good performance by the boys who must have been slightly disappointed to concede points towards the end of the game. That said plenty of positives. The team were lead well by captain Joel Stocker. The coaches discussed with the boys the potential to have added more points to the score board, but also reminded the lads 10-34 result at Alton was a good achievement.