IW II 55-29 Old Isleworthians
At sunny Wootton Rec, Isle of Wight RFC’s second team began their 2019-20 season with an entertaining match against tourists Old Isleworthians. OI are no ordinary touring club; touring twice a season, their first ever tour was to Isle of Wight RFC in the 1960s, and the West Londoners resolved to return to IW for this, their 100th tour.
Both teams had their moments in an open game which produced 14 tries, but IW’s young side had a distinct edge when moving the ball wide, and scored some fine tries, as well as forcing turnovers which were converted to breakaway scores. On the flip side, there were some sloppy moments in defence, contributing to a couple of the tourists’ five touchdowns.
IW raced into a 19-0 lead courtesy of tries by centres James Fitton (2) and Joss Spence, but OI found their feet and answered with two of their own. Harry Elsom and Cameron Browne also got on the scoresheet, though OI scored again to make it 31-19 to IW at half-time.
The game remained competitive throughout the second half, though IW always held a cushion, with debutants Zac Davis, Joey Hughes and Ollie Wheale all impressing. Experienced prop Jim Willetts earned the Rouse man of the match award, while Biffa man of the match Spence completed his hat-trick. Replacements Matt Spencer-Brading and Luke Margham both touched down, Margham and Fitton converting five of the tries between them. To OI’s credit, they had the final say, scoring with the last play of the game.
IW II open their Hampshire Two campaign at home to Chineham on 21 September, kicking off at 3 pm at Wootton Rec.
IW: Rich Vaughan, C Browne, Fitton, Spence, Wynyard-Wright, Williams, Elsom, Tombleson, Guy, Davis, Harrison, J Bishop, Rob Vaughan, Hughes, Freeman. Replacements: Willetts, Spencer-Brading, Margham, Wheale.