News from the 1st-XV
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Saturday, 15th October 2016
London Exiles 42 Andover 19
This year’s national intermediate cup campaign came to an abrupt halt for Oakwood sponsored Andover as old Rivals London Exiles marched into the next round last Saturday.
A much changed Andover made the journey to West London as unavailability and injury took its toll, but there was much to admire in the performance as Director of Rugby Andy Waite was able to run the rule over more players from his wider squad.
‘This is a tough fixture even at full strength’ he said ‘but the players that came in like Ben Ciccotti, Pat Holmes, Harry Ward and Josh Gibbs all did very well and at one point we looked like we might even cause an upset.’
‘It was also good to give Charlie Waite more exposure at stand off and I thought he and Jack Stott really stood up and were counted in defence and terrified Exiles with ball in hand.’
It started ominously for Andover as Exiles raced into a ten nil lead after just two minutes with a penalty followed by a gift of a converted try.
Andover didn’t panic however and through their more settle pack began to turn the screw.
Behind a dominant scrum Andover gained good field position and from a fine lineout Ollie Lindridge crashed over for a try converted by Waite.
Exiles were stunned and soon looked like taking complete control as Andover looked all at sea in the open spaces.
A penalty followed by another converted try and penalty gave Exiles a big lead and it looked like being a long afternoon for Andover, but once again they came back hard.
From a powerful scrum Holmes reached for the line and Andover had a glimmer of hope before the break.
After half time Andover gained further hope when a fine Gibbs kick lead to a wonderful piece of work by Luke Lissner who followed up his own crunching tackle to grab a loose ball and score a try converted again by Waite.
At 23-19 Andover were right back in it and when Ciccotti set up another attack with a superb high ball take Exiles were rattled.
Andover pressed hard but with ten minutes to go were undone when defensive kick went astray and Exiles broke away to score a try and as Andover tired quickly followed up with another converted effort.
A yellow card didn’t help Andover’s cause but despite still setting up several brave attacks they succumbed once again in the final play to give the score a slightly unrealistic feel.
‘It was a tough outing against a full strength home side, but we can take a lot from the way we battled and the performances of some very good young players.’ Said Waite
‘Exiles always pride themselves on their backs, but in fact I felt Charlie and Jack terrified them at times and overall we gave them a good run for their money.’