News from the 1st-XV
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Saturday, 15th September 2018
Winchester 48 Andover 22
Oakwood sponsored Andover made the short trip to local rivals Winchester last weekend and for the second week in a row were masters of their own downfall.
Young back rower Alex Arter saw red for punching in just the 16th minute to turn what was already a tough task into an impossible one.
The shame was that Andover, behind to an early try, had started to make inroads into the home sides defence and indeed it was from a promising attack that the the rush of blood occurred after the Andover player was dragged back trying to make a tackle.
Reduced to fourteen Andover battled bravely and through their dominant pack gained an endless supply of ball through the scrum and lineout.
Then disaster again as an attempted quick lineout was intercepted, to give Winchester the easiest of scores.
Tom Waite was then unlucky to be penalised for a huge tackle on a Winchester player as another Andover attack was repelled.
Andover recovered their poise and ten minutes before the break the impressive James Smith pulled a score back from a lineout catch and drive.
After the break Andover continued to dominate before controversy once again took over.
The home hooker was injured and even though they didn't need to, Winchester chose to go to uncontested scrums and a huge advantage was lost to the 'All Blacks.'
Winchester poured forwards and scored twice more, before another spell of Andover pressure led to stand off Charlie Waite finishing neatly after great work from Smith and Rich Rettalick.
Waite's monstrous boot kept Andover going forwards as the All Blacks pushed again and with Evan Roll putting in a brilliant performance at centre Andover cut the deficit further with a neat try from scrum half Callum Farr.
As Andover tired the home side scored again so it was all out for the fourth bonus point try for Andover.
With minutes to go Andover summoned the strength to go again and charges from skipper Alex Hibdige, James Monck and young flanker Alistair Dunnon were all held up before lock Nic Reed smashed his way over for the final score converted by Retallick.
Afterwards Director of rugby Andy Waite said ' This is always a tough place to come and we certainly didn't do ourselves any favours today. That said the lads kept at it and to finish with four tries in the circumstances was a great achievement.'
' It was very concerning from our point of view that Winchester seemed to use uncontested scrums as a tactic in both their first and second team games today. They did nothing illegal, but it's not rugby and it's a slippery slope to go down.'