Swindon St George 56 – 22 Southampton Spitfires
Swindon too strong for Reserve Grade Squad
Southampton reserves got off to a shaky start against Swindon’s first grade side. The visitors lack of experience and poor discipline put Swindon in the driving seat as they scored ten points in a matter of minutes.
Once Southampton had settled down they managed to apply good pressure to the Swindon Defence. A strong run from Laurence West-Warren drew a penalty for holding down and from a tap penalty Hooker Dave Strange powered over to make 10-4. George Thropy converted the extras to extend the Spitfires score to 6. However another knock on from the restart allowed Swindon to score again making it 16-6 at the end of the first 20 minute period.
The second period was all one way traffic with the Spitfires making several unforced errors allowing the Swindon backs excellent field position to attack from. The constant defending from the visitors took its toll and the Swindon side ran in 22 unanswered points to lead half time 38-6.
The third period was much better for the Spitfires who started to address the problems of dropping the ball and giving away penalties. In this period Swindon managed to score 12 points while Southampton posted another 4 points on the board courtesy of Rich O Donnell who went over from quick hands out wide after a great Alex Cooke off-load in the tackle. O Donnell then improved the angle giving George Thropy his second conversion on the afternoon. The scores at the end of the third period were Swindon 50 – 12.
The final period was all Southampton as they started to get on top of the Swindon Defence. Excellent strong running from the Southampton Pack caused the Swindon Defence to panic and Hooker Kevin Cant was held down after a great offload which led to a series of punches been exchanged between the Southampton Hooker and Swindon Prop. The referee in a great position decided to send both off for 10 minute to cool down, giving Kevin Cant his first yellow card of the season.
This decision fired up the visitors who then went on to dominate the last 15 minutes of the game. Firstly Rich O Donnell scored his second of the day with a clever kick over and regain to beat the defence. Thropy converting again to make the score 56-18. Finally Southampton crossed again in the 76th minute when Kevin Cant returned from the Sin Bin to power over from close range to leave the final score 56 – 22 in Swindon favour.
Reserve grade head coach Ben Woodhouse was pleased with the hit out and identified several areas for improvement over the next couple of weeks. The reserve grade start their London League Season with a Home game v Oxford on the 14th May.