Guernsey RFC 2XV Ventnor RFC 1XV 66-10 Ventnor RFC 1XV Match Report Sat 28 January 2023
Captain Lewis Jones will be pleased that all his efforts in collecting a Ventnor RFC 1XV team together for the long away trip to Guernsey were rewarded with those selected assembling at E.Cowes at 5.30am!!
Zoe Jones had done a sterling job in sorting out the logistics of getting the team to Guernsey via ferry, coach and plane and the team were able to enjoy a very welcome breakfast at a nearby cafe before making the short walk to the Guernsey RFC ground.
Ventnor were forced into making early changes to the team before kick-off when Ben Cooper’s hamstring decided that all the travel was too much and he retired to the touchline. This meant fly-half Luke Butler moved to inside centre to partner Sam Lines with Fergus Kenny moving from scrum- half to fly- half.
Louis Malkin, well used to playing at 9, slotted in at scrum-half and Ed Blake moved from wing to fullback- his place there being taken by George Finan off the bench. Ben Soutter remained as the other wing.
Taking on the runaway league leaders in their own backyard was never going to be an easy task and Ventnor didn’t help themselves from the first whistle. Despite the referee’s pre-match talk clearly emphasising the importance of safety and tackle height the Guernsey ball catcher at the kick-off was high tackled and the ensuing penalty pushed the visitors back into their own 22.
A minute and a half into the game and the home side were ahead after touching down following a kick behind the defence in the visitors 22 and this was soon followed by a second try after some lacklustre tackling in the backline.
Despite the opposition having a distinct weight advantage the Ventnor pack of George Collett, Lewis Jones, Ben Savill in the front row with Andrew Teague and Harry Colson at locks and a back row of Joe Coghlan, Lewis Morton and Dan Bell were winning all their first phase ball in scrum and lineout.
Unfortunately, the team as a whole were unable to repeat the performance of the previous week where they had shown that if they kept possession and strung phases together, then space created out wide would lead to try-scoring opportunities. Guernsey are not at the top of the league without good reason and any good team will capitalise on mistakes and punish you.
Quick ball from a penalty against Ventnor saw the ball go quickly along the line for another Guernsey’s score and a further two tries in the half came from poor Ventnor passing decisions in their own 22.
It is to the team’s credit though that they still kept fighting and midway through the half some excellent jackling from Ferg Kenny turned the ball over and the quick ball gave Sam Lines the opportunity to weave his way over by the posts.
A Kenny conversion and Ventnor were on the score sheet. Their cause wasn’t helped when Butler was yellow-carded for another Ventnor high tackle and the visitors turned around 33-10 adrift at half-time after Kenny had added a penalty to his tally after Vikings strayed offside.
Halftime enabled the coaches to make some changes with Jason Coltham replacing Andy Teague, Charlie Magnurson on for Joe Coghlan and Alan Fox replacing George Finan on the wing. With Butler’s enforced 10 minute rest the opposition were quick to exploit the extra man advantage and scored another converted try after good work by their three-quarters.
Ventnor’s fitness stood them in good stead with some excellent rampaging carries from captain Jones (resembling a baby rhino on the charge) and number 8 Bell with flanker Lewy Morton putting in his usual shift of tackling anything that moved. The visitors weren’t able to capitalise on this good work and were not able to string the phases together and couldn’t add to their scoreline.
Image: Clive Cardwell Hill
In similar fashion to some previous games some poor decision-making in their own 22 by Ventnor allowed the opposition to score another couple of tries with the final try coming from a Ventnor kick-off and a couple of missed tackles later the home side completed their try-scoring for the afternoon.
The scoreline will disappoint Ventnor as five of the Guernsey RFC 2XV’s tries came from Ventnor mistakes and a sixth when they were a man down following the yellow card. A 30 point winning margin would have been a much fairer result but, with a rest day next Saturday, Ventor can regroup in preparation for the home game against Gosport and Fareham RFC 2XV on Saturday 11 February 2023.
With 6 fixtures remaining in the 2022-23 season for the Counties 5 Hampshire League, Ventnor RFC 1XV lie 9th in the table with 27 points.
Team: Collet, Savill, Teague, Colson, Coghlan, L. Morton, Bell, L. Malkin, Kenny, Souter, Butler, Lines, Finan, E. Blake
Replacements; Coltham, Fox, Magnurson
Match Report: Clive Cardwell Hill
For more information, please contact JAMES MORTON, Hon Club Secretary, Ventnor RFC
T: 07901 938 317
The fixtures are correct as of the date of the time of publication and are given in good faith. E & OE. All fixtures are subject to change or cancellation at short notice.