HAMPSHIRE RUGBY

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Match played at United Services Portsmouth ground

Report by Richard V Isaacs

A Club Hampshire Select XV team, made up of players from ten different clubs across the county, produced an impressive performance to defeat the Royal Navy President's XV side 33-3 at Burnaby Road on Wednesday evening.


The Hampshire team, put together from players on the county selectors radar ahead of the upcoming County Championship campaign in May, gave them plenty to consider as they ran in five unanswered tries in a dominant showing.

Considering the Hampshire side only got together 24 hour previously, there was a lot to be enthused about as the county side prepare for a big step up in class after their promotion to Division One of the Championship this season.

It took a little while for the 'visitors' to get going after the Navy missed an early penalty but once they took the lead, after Jacob Knight's intelligent chip through the RN defence allowed Portsmouth's pacy Noah Cannon to score, they never looked back.

The young Navy side had their opportunities, just failing to grab the ball on an interception with the line at their mercy but they did get on the board when Jake Hanley slotted a penalty from 35 metres.

That was as good as it got for the hosts as Hampshire started to get to know each other better and produce some slick movement and good passing through forwards and backs.

Harrison Young's brilliant break should have resulted in more but for a wayward kick from a penalty and a forward pass denied a score under the posts shortly afterwards.

A second try did come when, from a close range penalty kicked to touch, Eastleigh's Paul Fudio collected the lineout and barged through a gaping hole in the Naval barricade to score.

And just before the interval, Havant's lively scrum-half Jake Hewett ran through under the sticks to give Knight the easiest of conversions for a 19-3 lead at the break.

The second half was just more of the same as the Navy barely saw any of the ball.

Crossing denied Eastleigh's Tyson Peters a deserved score just three minutes into the half but Camberley's former Basingstoke and Winchester youngster Rory Lillington was on the end of another lovely chip from Knight over the Naval defence.

More changes came from both sides but the game continued apace and Trojans' Jobi Kochanowski rounded off the scoring with a well taken try, Knight again adding the extras for a fourth time.

Andover's James Smith was sin-binned late on as the Navy tried to break through and were awarded a plethora of penalties close to the Hampshire line but an awful pass with a three man overlap relieved the pressure and the visitors saw out time to complete a very impressive win over a talented Navy team but gave the county selectors plenty to ponder as the Championship edges ever closer.


CLUB HAMPSHIRE XV team:
 Marc Ovens (Portsmouth), Rory Penfold (Gosport & Fareham), Wayne Dugan (Havant), Rory Lillington (Camberley), Noah Cannon (Portsmouth), Jacob Knight (Sutton & Epsom), Jake Hewett (Havant); Alex Hibdige (Andover), Tom Waite (Andover), Armandus Morgan (Havant), Harrison Young (Havant), Dan Williams (Tottonians), Paul Fudio (Eastleigh), Jasper Pickersgill (Portsmouth), James Smith (Andover).  Replacements: Luke Marks (Havant), Elliot White (Trojans), Tom Gregory (Tottonians), Toby Woodford (Gosport & Fareham), Craig Durnin (Tottonians), Aidan Price (Gosport & Fareham), Guy Mawhood (Winchester), Tyson Peters (Eastleigh), Jobi Kochanowski (Trojans), Adam Greenslade (Bridgwater & Albion).

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