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Report: 1sts v Locks Heath Pumas (A), Sat. 16 Feb. 2019

Locks Heath Pumas 49-14 Isle of Wight     by Chris Williams
After last week’s triumphant performance against Ventnor the Island travelled to Locks Heath full of confidence, however it’s not an easy place to play as they found out in a bruising encounter. The Island had the lion's share of possession in the first five minutes but couldn’t convert the pressure into points.
Locks Heath on the other hand were clinical; every time they entered the Island’s 22 they came away with points. The island found themselves 27-0 down within the first half hour through conceding three tries and two penalties. IW started playing more directly through strong running from the forwards and centre pairing Luke Blackman and Angus Brown. After several phases of play and excellent ball retention, they finally crossed the whitewash with veteran Martin Newnham burrowing over for his first try in 5 years. Biffa man of the match Lewis Murray added the conversion as the half time whistle went, with the Island in the ascendancy but trailing 27-7.
The second half began in similar fashion with the Islanders forging their way deep into the opposition territory but a break through couldn’t be found. Handling errors and over eagerness gifted Pumas possession and a break away try to make it 32-7. Even with the score line heavily in favour of the home side, IW were now playing well and not out of the game, and with a similar game plan to the first half the IW had their second try. It was a first club try for Rouse Ltd man of the match Callum Pudney, to which Murray added the conversion to make it 32-14.
If IW were to be the next team to score the game could have easily gone either way. But with fatigue setting in it was unfortunately the last time the IW would trouble the scoreboard. A couple of late tries made the scoreline unreflective of the amount of grit and determination that the team showed with the final score being 49-14. IW now have a week off before hosting Trojans II on 2 March.
IW: Marriott, Hooper, L Blackman, Angus Brown, Webster, Murray, Augustus, G Smith, McQueen, Newnham, Pudney, Raunigger, Bennett, D Blackman, Andrew Brown. Replacements: Blackburn, Williams, Peckham.
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