ANDOVER RFC

PLAY HARD - PLAY WELL - PLAY FAIR

News from the 3rd XV

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Saturday, 19th December 2015

Romsey 2's  24-28  Andover 3's

This week saw Andover 3's playing the last game of the year away to Romsey 2's. This game was down as a friendly but it's never too friendly once the whistle goes and to make things even tougher for the visitors Romsey decided on putting eleven of there first team out.

Andover are never in the mood to lose and realised that this could easily be their first defeat of the season but instead of worrying over it they stepped up a gear and took it to the home side from the start.

From the first catch of the ball Craig Allen smashed through to make good yardage and the support of his pack they kept the ball in possession.

With Tim Gibbs controlling things it was he who broke the line and off loaded to the talented George Rosco to run in the first try of the game which was converted by Josh Gibbs.

The home side looked flustered by this and Andover kept up the pressure. With some crunching defensive tackles from Ben Spragg,

Lloyd Heggie,  and Captain Dan Gillan, Romsey couldn't find there way out of there own half and were clearly not used to this kind of pressure.

Andover got a pay off for their pressure with Romsey panic passing and giving a knock on penalty right under the post, easily Slotted again by Gibbs to take the score to 0-10 with under fifteen minutes played.

The Visitors were now in control of the game and kept on going forward. With the backs working well together it was the legend that is Ben Maloney who side stepped his opposite number to make a run down the park and with a well timed pop to Patrick Holmes it was a straight run under the posts for his first of two tries.

Andover stayed dominant but switched off right at the end of the half and the home side ran in a well worked try.

The second half was a different story with several changes to the pack the home side began to gain the upper hand in the scrums giving them a good platform to attack the All Blacks gaining both ground and confidence.

On the front foot it was the home side to notch up the first points of the second half, this time the kick was added reducing Andovers lead to just 3 points.

Romsey began to gain a more possession and again attacked with their big forwards and were again looking dangerous but the usual suspects of Ben Maloney, Andy Dawkins and Harry Phillips continuously put their bodies on the line with some superb tackling with Maloney making two try saving Tackles to prevent the home side taking the lead. On one of these occasions the ball was turned over and despite the young Joe Newell being behind Andovers try line the open side jinked his way through the romsey players and made  80 yards up the pitch to offload to Holmes to grab the glory and take Andovers lead back to 10 points after Gibbs slotted the conversion.

The game continued to go romsey's way and managing to catch Andover napping hit straight back with a converted try almost straight away and with the game now into its final quarter the tension began to show with the home side now showing signs of desperation, they gave away a penalty in front of the posts. Gibbs stepped up and calmly kicked the 3 points to take Andover 6 points clear.

The desperation soon payed off as Romsey chased the game and once again scored a neat try but could not add the extras and with Andover reclaiming the restart they used the forwards to retain possession. Romsey knew it was now or never and in desperation gave away another penalty out wide with Gibbs stepping up and easily kicked the points to give Andover a slim 4 point lead with 1 minute left on the clock.

The forwards claimed the restart and scrum half Harry Foxwell kicked the ball dead for the All Blacks to win the game. Danny Gillan said

This was a massive game for the 3's playing a team a league above them that also contained 11 of their 1st team who currently sit unbeaten at the top of Hampshire 2. Proud of the boys to pull this off and it shows the team spirit and level of skill at the club as they finish at the halfway mark unbeaten and top of the league!!

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