Chris Williams. Picture by Ashley Vaughan.
IW 23, Solent University 41
IW WERE undone by a string of infringements and Solent University’s rapid back line in their Hampshire One clash at Wootton Rec on Saturday.
In a game featuring five second-half yellow cards — two for the IW and three for Solent — the IW made a great start, kicking into an early lead through Lewis Murray, and then, after Solent had pulled back with a penalty of their own, making it 10-3 with a converted try from Adam Thomas, which he bundled over after a penalty kick had hit the post and rebounded out.
Solent’s comeback began with a penalty kick, and after centre Nick Puckett was forced off with an ankle injury, things began to turn in Solent’s favour. Their speedy winger evaded several tackles twice over to touch down for two unconverted tries, to make it 16-10, and then things went from bad to even worse when Murray came off with a suspected broken hand.
Gary Warvill kicked a penalty to narrow the gap, but Solent responded straight away with a try under the posts, easily converted to make it 23-13 at the break.
In a card-filled second half, Solent continued their scoring, touching down in the corner, though this was cancelled by another Warvill penalty. At this point, IW were resurgent, piling on the pressure and using their physical power in the pack to drive the visitors back. This pressure brought them back into the game, with a pushover try from Ed Lynch, Warvill converting to narrow the gap to just five points.
But this was to be the last of the IW celebrations, as Solent scored two more tries and a penalty to seal the match.
Rouse Ltd man of the match was scrum half Brett Evans.
IW: D. Tanner, Newnham, M. Tanner, Boulter, Thomas, Brown, Hatch, Lynch, Evans, Murray, Collinson, Puckett, Warvill, Marsh, Williams. Subs: Jennings, Eggleton, Cotter.
• Pictures from our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk below.