With the recent run of league and national plate matches over and having secured 2nd place in the league Trojans took the opportunity to give some of the squad some well deserved match time against a Winchester A team in a friendly fixture.The conditions were perfect with the sun shining and the usual Trojans wind had abated.
Trojans were as ever quickly into their stride with Will B and Tom N taking the game to Winchester ably supported by Matthew R and Ben S at half back.The forwards worked well as a group led by Skipper Christian CM with Nick E performing well at no2 and Lawrence C making some solid carries.Winchester were reliant on a kicking game trying to bring their electric no15 into the game whenever they could.Camped in Winchester half Trojans could not break through and a breakaway by Winchester led to their first try being scored under the posts ; 0-7 and totally against the run of play but an example of slick passing.
Trojans came back hard pushing Winchester hard but were caught out once again by a counter attack from Winchester in a similar fashion ,0-14 . The team huddled behind the posts and came back with even more intensity displaying their never say die attitude.The highly impressive Josh R saw an opportunity to chip and chase a ball which he managed to gather and score, 5-14.
Not to be put down Winchester then executed a super try aided by some indifferent tackling by Trojans to take the score to 5-21.
Once again Trojans came back with Miles S and Charlie MC noticeably working hard around the fringes and forcing Winchester to make mistakes. Trojans went through a number of phases close to the Winchester line with impressive skipper Christian CM eventually taking the ball and muscling his way over the line to take the score to 10-21 and half time.
The second half started in much of the same manner with a resurgent Trojans taking every opportunity to play in a dynamic way through the forwards punching holes in the bigger Winchester defence.Trojans were dominating at the set plays with the line out working well. Suddenly the lone figure of lock Tom N appeared with the ball in hand 30 yards out and sprinted to line fending off the Winchester forwards to score 15-21 with 15 minutes to go. Winchester came back and attacked hard down the wings but Ollie JH defended well with Lewis F on the other wing twice making loose ball safe. Sam W was looking to counter attack when he could and Joe J looked strong with ball in hand taking defenders with him in the tackle.
Winchester caught the ball deep in their half and their left wing went past the Trojans defence before eventually being tackled.However they recycled the ball and this led to their no5 scoring ;15-28 with 10 minutes to go.
Trojans came back with the forwards blowing away Winchesters pack at ease making territory. It was fitting that Christian CM finished a move scoring under the posts with Josh G converting to take the score to 22-28 with 5 minutes to go.
Sensing their chance Trojans came back and gained territory and ball. As the referee called final play Winchester gave away penalty after penalty as Trojans sought the elusive try. Sadly handling error gave the ball to Winchester A who jubilantly kicked it out to end the game. Winchester A were relieved, Trojans disappointed but encouraged by the performance.
Final Score 22-28
Man of the match Miles S
In the huddle after the game coach Alan G spoke to the team about the pride they should take from the performance;Billy O said it was the best forwards performance of the year. The true ethos of Trojans Academy squad shone through with the whole team putting in a strong performance.