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Sunday, 10th September 2017

Andover 7 - Wootton Bassett 5

Basepoint sponsored Andover Colts got their season off to a winning start with a tense, low scoring victory in a friendly fixture against Royal Wootton Bassett.

On a blustery day, with drizzle in the air, both sides tried to get to grips with new personnel and new look teams and made the first steps towards implementing the strategies for the season.

The game was split into three periods, to allow more coaching input and more game time for all.

Bassett started the stronger, and dominated the early exchanges. This was especially evident in the set pieces and at the breakdown and Andover lost possession countless times as a result. The deadlock was finally broken by Basset after 18 minutes and they deservedly took the lead following a driven lineout which was then fed out to their winger to score in the corner. The conversion was missed and it stayed at 5-0 until the break.

Numerous changes were made after the break and instant impact was made by Alfie Appleton and Jacob Culley Wilson who both carried well to take the game to the visitors. This was a better period for Andover and they began to get some parity in the set piece too as well as the breakdown.

This improvement was then rewarded when Joe Joy managed an interception and then showed the opposition a clean pair of heals to score under the posts. He converted his own try to give the All Blacks a 7-5 lead.

More changes were made for the third period to allow squad rotation and match time for all. Despite being reduced to fourteen players, Andover used the wind well to manage the game and dominate the territory, pegging the visitors back on numerous occasions. Two challenging penalty opportunities were also taken, but narrowly missed, which showed good composure to close out the game and record the first victory of the new season.

All in all, plenty to work on but a promising start with lots of positives to take into the first league match in a fortnight.


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