Romsey 41-26 Totton

Despite the first overnight frost of the season, the Ganger Farm playing surface was in superb condition. 

Both sides took the opportunity to give game time to a number of youngsters, as well as allowing some Vets to dust their boots off.

Romsey began the game strongly spending the early minutes in their opponents half. After coming close to scoring Romsey came again and flanker Simon Garraway burst across the line for the first try which was unconverted. Romsey were quickly back on the attack and from a line out near Tottonians line and subsequent forward drive, veteran hooker Ben Hewitt drove over to score a second try which went unconverted making the score 10 : 0 to the home side.

Tottonians finally started to find their feet and spent several minutes in Romsey’s half during which Romsey’s momentarily flat-footed defence allowed a Totts player to burst through the centre unopposed to score a try under the posts which was duly converted to close the score at 10 : 7. Romsey immediately responded and after excellent forward play Ash Snow crossed for another Romsey try which was converted, increasing the lead to 17 : 7. At this point Romsey’s Chairman John Gray took the field and the veteran hooker was soon in the thick of things even winning a strike against the head assisted by his dominant pack. 

Another rare period of Tottonians pressure saw a second defensive lapse by the Romsey threequarters and with a three-man overlap the visitors capitalised with another try which was not converted taking their tally to 12 points. Totts pressed again but another veteran, assistant coach Gavin Harbour, caught the ball near Romsey‘s try line and with a terrific burst of speed, took the ball up to Totts 10 metre line. Shortly afterwards another strong Romsey scrum pushed the opposition off the ball and Simon Garraway broke from the flank to sprint over the line for his second try near the corner, with the difficult conversion missed. Half time saw a healthy 22 : 12 lead for Romsey.

From the restart Romsey quickly scored a fabulous try featuring wonderful support play with the ball passing through numerous hands until a try was scored by Dylan Scott under the posts. The conversion by Ollie Coburn extended Romsey’s points tally to 29 which was increased still further when an interception by Jay Hodges inside the Romsey half saw him outrun the chasers for another converted score under the posts.

At 36 :12 the home side appeared to be running away with the game. However this proved to be false as within a period of 10 minutes Tottonians managed to score two converted tries reducing the deficit to 36 : 26. 

However Romsey were not to be denied and a dropped ball was hacked on by Spencer Scott and this pinned Tottonians back in their own 22. Having conceded a penalty the dominant Romsey pack opted for a scrum and the ball was spun wide. A clever inside pass released Jack Murrant for the final home side try, which was confidently converted by Mike Streicher.

The 41-26 score line was a fair reflection of Romsey’s superiority on the day. Their scrum was in control from the first whistle, and Romsey produced some superbly entertaining rugby to keep the crowd warm on a chilly day.