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U16 - Match centre

Winchester RFC
Andover RFC
Sun 5 Nov 10:00 - League Full time


Hampshire champions continue their unbeaten season

Hampshire champions continue their unbeaten season

Winchester U16s vs. Andover U16S
Sunday 5 November

Winchester U16 61
Andover U16 5

Winchester took all the chances presented to them to deliver an emphatic win.

Immediately from the kick-off, Winchester fought for possession and won, with wing Toby Reid going over for a try in the second minute. Captain and wing Josh Wise kicked the conversion to put Winchester 7-0 up. There were no signs of post-Bonfire Night rustiness from the home side: a series of good drives by the Winchester pack, with some notable breakdown work by prop Tom Irwin, saw Wise get on the scoresheet again in the 12th minute - this time for a try, which he duly converted to give Winchester a 14-0 lead. The following spell was largely played in the Andover half, with sustained pressure from the home side culminating in flanker Filippo Hall going over for a try; Wise again in for the extras to make it 21-0. In the 20th minute Wise broke from deep in the Winchester half to score a try which he then converted to put the score at 28-0. Thus far Andover had proved strong opposition, but Winchester had simply denied them any real opportunities to seize on. In their first real spell of sustained pressure and good possession, Andover capitalised and scored a try to make it 28-5.

It was a real forward power battle at times: the home side scrum seeming only to realise what they were up against when it was almost too late. It was not easy to keep count of the amount of times possession changed hands in the tight exchanges. That said, superb carries from lock James Rayner and Number 8 Jason Griffith made back some significant yards lost on one occasion.

There was always danger promised the moment the Winchester backs took possession of the ball, centre Sam Thompson frequently displaying his phenomenal execution of delayed passing action. Andover had to remain alive to the threats to stay in the game: their sharp focus saw them intercept a Winchester pass when the hosts were on top of the Andover try line. In the final act of the first half, Sam Thompson went over for a well deserved try, Wise converting to make the score 35-5 at half-time.

Once again, Winchester gathered from the kickoff - this time receiving and ran the ball straight back, and through, the visitors defence, with Josh Wise going over to complete his hat-trick and make it 40–5. Moments later, a beautifully weighted kick by centre Jamie Cook led to Toby Reid scoring his second try, Wise converting to make the score 47-5.

The flashes of fine play were welcome as Andover began to let their frustrations rise to the surface. The home side showed no mercy, at one stage putting the ball through the hands of all the backs leading to a well-earned try for full-back Ben Pearce, which again Wise converted to make it 54-5. The midpoint of the second half brought the usual raft of substitutions, and this halted Winchester's flow momentarily. Excellent distribution by scrum-half Toby Gilbey, stomping carries from flanker Dan Leake, and barrelling work as always from prop Louis Strangeway, ensured Winchester stayed focused. Excellent decision-making by replacement centre Archie Mildenhall, ignoring those outside him, saw him breaking the line for a try. Replacement fly-half Henry Williams converted, to put the score at 61-5

Andover did not give up the fight. The dying moments of the match saw some scrambling defensive work by Winchester when Andover had them camped on their own line: Andover crossed the line and touched down but the referee judged that there had been an earlier offside, and signalled for full-time.

An emphatic win for the hosts, who simply took all chances in front of them. Petersfield away next weekend will certainly provide a stronger test to the Champions' credentials.

Winchester: Ben Pearce; Toby Reid, Sam Thompson, Jamie Cook, Josh Wise; Rory King, Joey Maggs;
Louis Strangeway, Ed Kellett, Tom Irwin, James Rayner, Cain Williams, Dan Leake, Filippo Hall, Jason Griffiths.

Replacements: Will Letty, Ed Mirchandani, James Kesby, Cam Jesney, Henry Williams, Josh Golledge, Archie Mildenhall, Toby Gilbey.

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