News from the 1st-XV
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Saturday, 29th October 2016
London Cornish 42 Andover 5
Runaway league leaders London Cornish gave Oakwood sponsored Andover a lesson in finishing in Wimbledon last weekend, to run out comfortable winners.
‘As a totally amateur club it’s hard to compete sometimes.’ Said Director of Rugby Andy Waite, ‘but this game was much closer than the scoreline suggests and in truth on another day we could have got something from it.’
Andover put up a plucky performance for much of the game and indeed led for the first half hour, but as the game wore on, the unbeaten home side gradually got the measure of the visitors, eventually running in seven tries to Andover’s one.
There was much to admire from the Andover performance however, in a game in which they should have scored several more tries themselves.
Indeed it was the finishing that was the main difference between the two sides as the class of the home sides back three, allowed them to accelerate clear from Andover in the second half.
The game began well for Andover when after just four minutes hooker Tom Waite smashed his way over from a stolen lineout to give them a lead.
Andover pressed repeatedly and had many chances to score and indeed Waite was certain he had again, only to be denied by the referee who judged him to be held up when he clearly grounded the ball.
Penalty and short scrum chances were all missed and when Andover were penalised at a catch and drive lineout when certain to score again, the writing was on the wall.
On the half hour Cornish took their first points from a penalty and moments later Andover were desperately unlucky to concede when a charged down kick gave the home side a break away try.
Narrowly behind, it looked like Andover would give Cornish a run for their money in the second half, but for the second week in a row they inexplicably imploded either side of half time and conceded three tries to silly errors and over ambition.
Andover regrouped from these blows and continued to show plenty of ambition through Jack Stott, Niko Rowe and Ben Fulton prompted by another assured display at stand off from Charlie Waite.
Ben Ciccotti shone in the back row along with Simon Preece and Aaron Hatcher but just as Andover looked like they getting themselves back in it, they coughed up cheap possession again and were once again punished by the clinical home backs.
Andover kept trying and when Tom Waite broke and fed skipper Alex Hibdige, Andover should surely have scored again. The pass was loose however, the chance once again went begging and when Cornish scored again soon after the contest was over.
Even a yellow card for the home team for constant offending in defence did nothing to help Andover’s finishing and in the end it was the home side who broke once again to complete the scoring.
‘Losing here was no disgrace as they are a very good side.’ Said Andy Waite
‘I thought Tom Erskine and Luke Linssner were really good in the engine room and Kiran Jenvey had another fine game.
‘But overall made it hard for ourselves by not taking our chances and not looking after the ball well enough at important times and that’s what we need to continue to work on.