Vectis Festival, Isle of Wight
By Jon Niccolls
A great end to a great tour!!
After a good couple of evenings and a good day on Saturday on Tour on the Isle of Wight, we attended the Vectis Festival, which it’s got to be said, is one of the biggest, most well organised Festivals that we’ve attended to date.
As usual, there always seems to be a trek from wherever you park to wherever we’re playing, but good weather always makes the walk slightly better, even though you’re lugging kit, gazebos, water or other bits and pieces with you.
The Festival was run as a waterfall tournament with four groups, and each placing going to meet the similarly placed side from the other groups.
Our group was with teams from Dorking (Monarchs), Bracknell (Red Berets) and the home side, Vectis.
We started the tournament against the Dorking Monarchs side.
Sadly a familiar sight prevailed, maybe due to a couple of late nights, but our boys looked tired and lacked spark. Some poor tackling and inattention led to the Monarchs putting three past us in the first half, and two more in a second half of much the same.
Monarchs 5 – 0 TRFC
Second up was Bracknell Red Berets.
The boys had woken up by now and remembered what they were supposed to do, and we had some great possession and some really good periods of play where we equalled the Red Berets in all aspects of the game. Ruck after ruck went by, with much of the game around the halfway line.
A couple of missed tackles and an interception however, meant that the Red Berets scored one in each half without reply.
Bracknell Red Berets 2 – 0 TRFC
Last of this groups games was against the hosts, Vectis.
Definitely the game of the first session, the boys were getting going now. Vectis scored first, but after some good passing and offloading, great rucking by the forwards, Cam ran in our first try of the Festival. Tom DC was like a man possessed, tackling everything in sight and trying to weave his way through everyone, to no avail.
Vectis 1 – 1 TRFC
Whilst our play had improved, we only managed fourth in the group, so were against other sides that came fourth to play for the Festivals Bowl trophy.
The sides in this group were Trojans Chiefs, Trojans Warriors and Bracknell Green Berets.
First off was Bracknell Green Berets.
Our boys were on a roll now and playing well. Rucking, tackling and passing were all improving, so much so that Tom W, Luca and Logan all ran in tries. Tom’s was a turn of pace after some good play; Luca’s was a good old-fashioned forwards try, ball crooked in his right hand, fending off the opposition with his left; Logan nipped over a ruck as the ball came loose having just come back on the field.
Bracknell Green Berets 0 – 3 TRFC
Due to some of the Trojans players having to leave to catch the ferry, they were reduced to one team, and played Bracknell next, beating them to set up a play off with us for the Bowl.
Tom W also had to depart for his journey home.
The Bracknell referee made the unusual move of deciding kick off with an arm wrestle. Harry overpowered his opposite number with ease.
This was a game of nip and tuck, no side wanting to lose, but late in the first half, Dan Navas slipped around wide to score in the corner.
The Trojans weren’t going to let it go that easily, and really came at us second half, almost breaking through a couple of times, only to be tackled well.
The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough for us, and the boys were delighted with their win.
Trojans 0 – 1 TRFC
A great end to a great tour!!