News from the 2nd-XV
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Saturday, 16th September 2017
Andover 2nd 22 Tottonians 2nd 34
After an inauspicious start, Andover Hinds were keen to make an impression with their first home game of the season hosting high flying Tottonians.
The Hinds finding themselves starting with only 14 players, decided to field a full set of backs and take the shortage in the forwards, happy that 7 from an Andover pack, can match 8 of any other team in the league.
And so it proved as the Andover pack took the game to Totts from the kick off.
Taking the kick Andover piled forwards and after a couple of forward phases, they released the backs for David Catt to score a text book try.
Unfortunately, an Andover error, caused by the over aggressive passing of Harry Foxwell and the sausage fingers of Dougie Searle, lead to Tottonians levelling the score soon after.
The game then settled into the hard-fought battle that the rest of the game was.
Andover defence held well throughout the game with the back line, where Jack Potter shone, pressurising Totts and making some hard tackles.
In attack the Hampshire All Blacks backs always looked dangerous.
Tottonians awarded a penalty just outside the Andover 22 selected to kick for posts; something they did throughout the game as even with a man advantage they were not confident that they could break through the Andover defensive line.
Andover struck next when Nick Richardson took an outrageous intercept that he ran in from at least 40 metres.
But every time Andover scored Totts managed to match them with a hard fought try and Andover were trailing by 10 points going into half time.
After a sterling effort in the first half Andover took to the field again looking for the win.
Josh Gibbs continued to push accurate kicks behind the Totts defence and youngster Josh Middleton chased and hacked one through for another Andover try; it was ugly but a score is a score.
Andover’s 15th man arrived late in the game in the form of veteran Chris Collins and he immediately made an impact, but unfortunately the home team was soon back down to 14 when Dean Andrews was shown an undeserved yellow for shenanigans in the scrum.
After some desperate defence Totts managed to drive over two tries from a lot of pressure in the Andover 22.
Andover responded with a Samson Earle try from the lineout; effortlessly mastering a call that Craig Dunston hadn’t got right in 3 seasons.
This brought Andover to within 12 points with 10 minutes left. But despite a couple of chances, Andover couldn’t capitalise and game ended with what seemed like a dozen scrums.
As well as the tries mentioned Josh Gibbs scored a conversion.
Despite losing Andover can be extremely proud of their performance and if the same passion and commitment can be maintained, this will be an excellent season for the 2nd XV.
The future of the club is also looking bright with a number of Colts playing some fantastic rugby at Senior level.