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Totts dominate Winchester in derby
Tottonians’ experience proved too much for Winchester as they dominated a London 2 South-West derby clash at North Walls.
Newly-promoted Winch were second best in every department as Totts – in their 11th season at this level – raced to a comfortable half-time lead before winding up 39-10 winners.
Before the game Tottonains’ head coach Gavin Williams said his side had not really clicked, despite a good start to the season.
But they did just that over the first 40 minutes, leaving Winchester, who are renowned for stepping up a gear in latter stages, a mountain to climb.
Williams said: “Certainly in the first half we clicked but it was a bit scrappy in the second, but you have to give Winchester credit for coming back at us and not giving up.
“We came out of the blocks firing and the attitude has been brilliant so I’m very pleased, we have just got to kick on now.”
The sides sized each other up with play in the centre of the field for the first ten minutes before Totts grabbed the initiative. A quick tap penalty was followed with a series of drives and a couple of five-metre scrums before captain Mike Searle was fed and crashed his way through two tackles to score.
Minutes later Totts stole possession and scrum half Bryne Marshall chipped the ball ahead for Robbie Searle to snap up. He fed Nick Jones who found his skipper who touched down for his second try.
With a couple of conversions and a drop goal Totts moved steadily ahead at 17-0 on 25 minutes.
Battling Winchester got to within touching distance of Totts’ line on two occasions in the last ten minutes of the half but were allowed nothing for their efforts and were punished twice.
Totts used just about every set of hands to move the ball to the other end of the field before off-loading to Scott Rogers to touch down. The full-back then evaded several tackles with a wonderful run from inside his own half before finding Rich Buck in support. His 35-metre sprint and touchdown put Totts 29-0 at the break and gave them their first bonus point of the season.
Winchester refused to throw in the towel and crossed the line a couple of minutes into the second half, Matt Gibson touching down from line-out, drive and maul.
However the intended revival was shortlived as Totts’ forwards were rewarded for their hard work after winger Brendan Streather was stopped inches short of the line.
Totts’ pack turned over a Winchester five-metre scrum and Number 8 Dan Stocks touched down.
A final penalty from Robbie Searle ended Tottonians’ contribution to the scoreboard but Winch’s pride took them over the line one last time as Tom Forster made the most of a well-timed pass from Gregg Sullivan.
Disappointed Winchester coach Andy Fields said: “They were too big, too strong and well organised and if you give a well organised side the ball so cheaply you will get what you deserve.
“I’m disappointed but you can’t argue about losing to side who played better than you. You can make as many excuses as you want but you have to look at yourselves first.”
Full rugby review in today's Daily Echo
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