UUֱ

RFC are ripe to repeat history

Euan Spencer taking it on for JRFC against Tottonians Picture: DAVID FERGUSON

JERSEY made a huge statement as a Scott Van Breda hat-trick helped dismantle rivals Tottonians at the Rugby Club.

In a cold, injury filled and action-packed match, UUֱ defensively dominated in the battle of the top two sides in the Regional 2 South Central league.

The last time the Southampton-based club had come to the Island, UUֱ beat them 27-6 on their way to cruising to an unbeaten London 3 South West title winning 2004-05 season. Nineteen years later, it looks very much a case of history repeating itself.

It couldn’t have been a better start for the hosts, giving the fans something to shout about with a try inside the first minute of the game from the impressive No.12, Van Breda.

Early celebrations were cut short just a few minutes later, however. A horrible ankle dislocation and leg fracture suffered by UUֱ’s Bryn Edwards saw the second-row forward carried from the field on a stretcher to warm applause from the fans.

It also meant a much earlier than expected debut for former UUֱ Reds captain Lewis Wynne who, only seven months earlier, had held aloft the Championship trophy.

Tottonians soon rallied after a poor start, and hit back at UUֱ with a try of their own and a penalty shortly after to lead 10-7.

A real arm wrestle of a first half saw the hosts again seize the momentum.

Jack Macfarlane touched down for UUֱ after 15 minutes, and Nathan Rogers grabbed his first of the game not long after to make the score 21-10 before the half an hour stage.

Tottonians were showing strong physicality and managed to grab another try back of their own.

But UUֱ scored their fourth try of the half just on the whistle, via the league’s top try scorer, George Willmott, to take a lead of 28-17 into half-time.

At the resumption, it was the away side who started the second half on the front foot.

Earning and scoring a penalty just three minutes into the restart, however, would prove their last score of the game. Tottonians before this game had boasted the best defensive record in the league with the fewest points conceded.

UUֱ put that statistic to the test in the second half. A second try for Van Breda in the 48th minute was matched only by the superb tight-angled conversion by league’s leading point scorer, fly half Aaron Penberthy.

Penberthy played a blinder with the boot all game, even adding a drop goal in the 67th minute to open the lead to 38-20.

Two tries in the last ten minutes sealed the win. The first saw Rogers’ second, jumping all over a beautiful offload to touch down in the corner in the 70th minute.

And in the 75th minute, Van Breda intercepted a loose Tottonian pass and put his head down to zoom the length of the field for a well-deserved try and hat-trick.

Final score, 52-20 to the hosts against arguably their biggest test of the season so far.

A superb defensive performance against a very physical side who pushed them all the way with RFC utterly clinical in their attack.

With this win, UUֱ have now gone 11 points clear at the top of the table, still maintaining their 100 per cent winning record.

Next up for Myles Landick’s side is another home fixture on Saturday 9 December against a struggling, bottom-of-the-table Reading side, before they travel away to Wimborne on 16 December for their last fixture of the year.

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