by Richard V Isaacs


An experimental Hampshire side produced a Barbarian style performance to warm up for their County Championship campaign by scoring nine tries in an impressive 53-17 win over a CNRC Barbarians side at Burnaby Road on Wednesday night.


Hampshire, who were without players from Bournemouth, Worthing, Havant and Tottonians due to league commitments, put on a stylish show against the combined Royal and Australian Navy team, who scored three deserved tries late in the second half.


But it was the speed of foot and clever handling that let Hampshire dominate the game with young University of Portsmouth winger Jake Caddy and Portsmouth's Curtis Barnes showing their class.


It took Hampshire just six minutes to open their account when from a catch and drive, the ball came to Barnes who went over in the corner.


That just marked the start of a procession of tries with Wes Dugan taking advantage of a neat pass from fly-half Lewis Dennett to cross for Hampshire's second of the night.


Three tries in the space of six minutes, all of which set up by the electric pace of Barbados international winger Caddy, eased the visitors into a 29-0 interval lead.


First, Caddy sliced open the CNRC defence to release Rhys Bowen who then found Dennett in support to score and convert his own try and three minutes later, he left the Navy team grasping at air and again found the grateful hands of Dennett to score a second.


And the young University man once again showed his unselfishness when, following a CNRC knock-on from a quickly taken restart, he raced to the line but with Wes Dugan on his shoulder, flipped the ball to him to add Hampshire fifth.


Caddy did eventually get on the scoreboard just four minutes in the second period when he showed incredible pace chasing his own kick ahead to grab a very well deserve reward.


The scoring just kept coming for the free-flowing Hampshire team, who were taking quick penalties and throwing the ball around at will so when Eastleigh's Jack Berry broke through the middle, he got a lucky deflection to his kick ahead and Barnes was the happy recipient, sprinting under the posts.


The lead extended to 46-0 after just 54 minutes.  From a line-out, Ross Parkin knocked the ball down to Dennett and his clinical pass to Barnes opened up the defence again and Trojans' Joby Kochanowski added to the tally.


Much to the delight of the good crowd, CNRC finally broke their duck with two tries in six minutes as the centre took advantage of some good phases of play to go over and then saw his fellow Australian player add a second.


Hampshire's scoring finally ended when Kochanowski posted a second when he was released by Berry to score before the Navy lock Matt Harvey closed the match with a nicely taken try.


Twelve tries in total on an entertaining night of rugby and the Hampshire selectors have been given plenty to think about ahead of the Championship starting in early May.


Hampshire XV team: Joby Kochanowski (Trojans), Jake Caddy (University of Portsmouth), Jack Berry (Eastleigh), Wayne Dugan (Gosport & Fareham), Curtis Barnes (Portsmouth), Lewis Dennett (Ebbw Vale), Wes Dugan (Gosport & Fareham); Will Rolfe (US Portsmouth), Tim Snowden (Gosport & Fareham), Ryan Wilkie (Portsmouth), Darren Leggott (Portsmouth), Rob King (University of Portsmouth), Ross Parkin (Chinnor), Rhys Bowen (Portsmouth), Craig Durnin (Tottonians).  Replacements: Sam Drayson (Chichester), Jim Storey (University of Portsmouth), Luke Davies (US Portsmouth), Josh Gilmartin (Old Elthamians), Ben Roberts (Gosport & Fareham), Joe Davis (Havant), Jonty Newton (University of Portsmouth), Marcus Campopiano (University of Portsmouth), Phil Baldwin (Eastleigh), Sam Balkham (University of Portsmouth), Rory Penfold (Gosport & Fareham).

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