Gosport & Fareham II 19-37 IW
After their first win of the season, IWRFC headed to Gosport and Fareham RFC seeking their first away win, and to continue the momentum following the home win over Romsey the previous week. Captain David Blackman returned from injury to skipper a line-up showing a few changes in personnel.
Scoring was opened early with Lewis Murray kicking a penalty on the opposition 22. It was evident early on that the IW scrum would be dominant, winning not only their own ball but the opposition’s. Gosport not handling the pressure gave away a penalty, allowing a quick ball to Tom Marriott who scored under the posts, giving IW a 10-0 advantage.
The focus then turned to the IW defence, who frustratingly gave away several easy penalties to the opposition right in front of their own try line. The home team’s persistence proved too much, with G & F getting the try and converting. In response, IW began to look like the dominant team and profited from their efficient scrum when Gosport gave away another penalty in their own 22. The hosts cracked under the pressure once again, and Rouse man of the match Alex Smith pinballed off two home forwards to score the try.
With the next score before half time all important to both teams, it was Gosport who looked to their backs to keep them in it, and got the ball down in the corner. The half time whistle offered both teams a welcome breather after a fast-paced first half, IW leading 17-12.
IW opened the second half scoring with Tom Marriott throwing a dummy pass, and running through himself for another try. The reliable boot of Murray made it 24-12. IW kept the pressure on well into the second half, with the dominant scrum and discipline giving them the edge and a further 10 points. However, a chip and chase from the hosts Gosport earned a slice of luck, with the ball bouncing back off the post and touched down for a try, narrowing the gap to 34-19.
A late penalty allowed IW to further their lead and as the final whistle blew, fans and players cheered knowing that a hard fought victory was well earned. The IW 2nds received a walkover from Basingstoke, and both teams now have a free week before returning to action on Sat. 19 Oct., hosting Tottonians II and III at Wootton Rec.
IW: Ward, C Browne, D Blackman, L Blackman, Langdon, Murray, Marriott, Blackburn, McQueen, Newnham, Jones, Pudney, Raunigger, Bennett, A Smith, A Groves, S Browne.