News from the 1st-XV
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Saturday, 10th September 2016
Andover 12 Old Reigatian 16
It was last gasp misery for Oakwood sponsored Andover as they began their London South West league two campaign with a narrow defeat at home to much fancied Old Reigatian.
Andover led 12-9 against the Surrey outfit, but with the referee playing and incredible 14 minutes of overtime, Reigatian grabbed a late, late score to break their hearts.
A bonus point was scant reward for the ‘All Blacks’ who had dominated possession throughout with their mighty scrum and worked incredibly hard but in the end it was their own inability to convert chances that eventually cost them dear.
Playing up the slope in the first half Andover seemed to deal comfortably with early pressure, but a mix up in defence led to a penalty chance to give the visitors the lead.
Andover responded well and created good field position but it was Reigatian struck again with a further penalty at the ruck.
Andover stormed back with skipper Tom Erskine and Billy Pollard in fine form and had the visitors under all sorts of pressure, but time and again spurned chances to move the ball quickly and outflank the defence.
Charlie Waite struck a penalty to reduce arrears after a defender received a yellow card but even with this advantage Andover could not cross the line.
Half time came and went and with Jordan Gray starting to cause havoc in the loose Andover poured forwards.
A short scrum penalty was soon awarded but Andover chose to take the three points to draw level and not the chance of the try.
Waite took the points easily and soon eased Andover into the lead with a well struck chance from wide out.
A yellow card for each side followed as the referee became increasingly impatient at the ruck.
Waite then stretched the lead from a further scrum penalty and Andover seemed to be easing clear.
Game management is a big issue however and with the result at their mercy Andover became nervous and series of poor options and decision making saw them fail to put Reigatian to the sword.
The visitors hung in gamely as Nic Reed, the impressive Jake Kane and Ollie Lindridge all went close but Andover just could not find the composure to get the vital try.
As the final play came Ed Williams was harshly yellow carded and from the field position gained from the resulting penalty, Reigatian struck with a sucker punch to devastate the home team and their noisy fans.
Afterwards Director of rugby Andy Waite was down but not disheartened.
‘We played well in general terms but we really need to be more clinical in attack.’ He Said
‘Its easy to blame the ref and the length of the second half was surprising to say the least, but we should have taken that out of the equation long before and executed our opportunities.’
‘We had a new and promising half back pairing and played with real pace and power at times and we look a lot sharper than this time last year so we can’t be too downhearted, but going forwards we need to move the ball quicker and be more sensible when we are protecting a lead in a tight game.