So we were all set for the season at Southampton University. It is a drive to the ground but the facilities suit our game and the Club will continue to grow.
Our warm up games have been tough but allowed the Pumas coaching team to gauge players positions better plus their intent to drive the club forward. Today was a great game to watch in what was very hot playing conditions more suited to May than September.
Our visitors today were Tottonians 2XV. Their 1XV play in London 1 and many of their guys on display today will be featuring in their main league campaign throughout the season. So Totts kicked off and before the Pumas could wake up Totts had several kickable penalties. But for some reason they only chose one and converted to lead 0-3.
It took the Pumas 17 mins to really get hold of the ball and into the game by having some possession in the opening second quarter. However once they begun to play the points flowed. Joe Slater scored the opening try following a lot of good forward interchange. Robbie Connell converted and the score was 7 - 3.
Unfortunately Joe took an injury and had to leave the field with 21 mins played and Will Quigley came on.
The Pumas continued to dominate the match but failed to score until on the 35 min with skipper James Campbell finishing off a good handling move. Robbie converted to make the score 14-3. Here the score remained until half time.
The second half started with the Pumas continuing to dominate more, but they only walked away in the next 20 mins with a Robbie Connell penalty to extend their lead to 17-3.
From this point in the match the supporters felt the Pumas had done enough to close the game out, but Totts seemed to gain an extra spurt of energy and were awarded a try following a massive break and run from their No 8. This was the only poor defense of the afternoon from the Pumas, which allowed him to run in and score a converted try on59 mins. But this score changed the mood of the game. The Pumas failed to dominate territory or possession the last 10 mins. They also suffered a few yellow cards which allowed Totts to score at the games end on 79 mins with another converted try to level the match. 17 - 17
I would like to say that we threw this away but every Puma worked hard in very hot and challenging conditions. Our defence was excellent and the team tried to push Totts as much as possible. So a draw.... ok we will take it and move on as there is a lot of the season to still play for!!