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U16 - Match centre

Winchester RFC
Petersfield RFC
Sun 8 Apr 10:00 - League Full time

Champs win chance to defend title

Champs win chance to defend title

Champs win chance to defend title

Winchester under-16 43
Petersfield under-16 24

The Hampshire under-16 League/Cup drew these two sides together for the semi-final. The opening exchanges were fierce, with both sides lofting many kicks, attempting to force an error in the slippery conditions. Reigning Hampshire Champions Winchester had the upper hand in this passage, keeping the pressure up through safe passing and good mauling. A Winchester scrum on the Petersfield 22 saw scrum-half Joey Maggs flip the ball to centre Jamie Cook who strolled over for the opening try. Fly-half Henry Williams converted to give Winchester a 7-0 lead.
Winchester maintained the pressure, Flanker Dan Leake carrying the crash ball on a number of occasions. Great hands from Centre Archie Mildenhall plus a brilliantly timed burst to get over the Petersfield tryline from Winchester Wing Toby Reid delivered the second try to put the score at 12-0. Petersfield, clearly riled, came back with a series of assaults on the Winchester 22 and eventually went over for a try, which was converted to make it 12-7. Winchester immediately responded: a superb kick-take by Toby Reid followed by great hands through the Winchester forwards (the strong running from lock Jason Griffiths was a feature of Winchester’s first-half game) and backs led to a second try for Jamie Cook, jinking through the Petersfield defence. Williams converted to extend the Winchester lead to 19-7. After a brilliant run from Number 8 Sam Thompson, Archie Mildenhall shipped a perfect pass for Dan Leake, to cross the Petersfield tryline. Williams again got the extras to make it 26-7 at half-time.

Winchester opened the scoring in the second half and made it 31-7 with a well-deserved try from lock and match captain James Rayner after some bulllocking runs.
Masterminded through the fresh legs of scrum-half Toby Gilbey, Winchester whipped the ball from one side of the pitch to the other, leading to a try for wing Rufus Beck. Jamie Cook got the extras to make it 38-7. Petersfield retorted with sustained pressure on the Winchester 22, repelled by the Winchester forwards, notably Sam Thompson and Jamie Kesby. Winchester then went down to 14 men after a yellow card for a late challenge in their own 22: this led the way a pushover try for Petersfield, which was converted to make the score 38-14. A quickly taken Petersfield line out which was disrupted by Winchester gave an easy second try for Rufus Beck to make it 43-14. Petersfield did not give up, using their man-advantage again to sneak a try and make it 43-19 with seven minutes to a go: despite the gap, Winchester could not afford to relax. More fresh legs were necessary: fierce contesting of the ball by replacement flanker Cam Jesney momentarily saw off relentless Petersfield pressure through their pack - the visitors crossed the line again but were held up, then went over from the five meter scrum. The conversion was missed to make the score 43-24 at Full time. A hard-fought victory with Winchester’s thoughtful, all-court rugby — even in the wet conditions — securing them a place in the Final against New Milton on Sunday (15 April).

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