Southampton 3 Andover 76
It was another good day at the office for Oakwood sponsored Andover, who despite not really hitting their straps blew away struggling Southampton on their own patch last weekend.
Having learned from their trauma on the Isle of Wight, Andover left nothing to chance for this game and so despite the referee ordering the kick off fifteen minutes early they were ready and waiting.
From the kick off Andover tore into their shell-shocked opponents and within a minute a fine handling move saw prop Nic Reed crash over under the posts.
Rich Retallick converted and the tone for the day was firmly set.
Southampton rallied briefly and managed a penalty of their own, but like Alton several weeks ago that was as good as it got for them as the power, pace inventiveness of Andover overwhelmed them.
Centre Jack Stott led the way with a sparkling display of running rugby grabbing four excellent tries to add to his substantial seasonal tally.
His first and Andover’s second was a splendid solo effort and he was soon at it again after being set free by a superb Sam Froggett counter attack.
There was no let up from Andover as they increased the pressure up front against a big and experienced Southampton pack.
A line-out move led to second row Craig Snook crashing over for a try converted by Retallick and soon after Simon Preece did likewise after a fine blindside break from Paul Tuinasakea.
Next up was Froggett who finished brilliantly from Martin Smiles deft pass and just before the break skipper Marc Wilding scampered over from a smartly taken quick penalty with Retallick adding another conversion.
Andover utilised their bench in the second half as Billy Pollard, Sam Earle and Elliott Copestake joined the fray and normal service was resumed as Copestake’s pace set up a chance for Matt Moore to crash over for a converted try.
Tuinasakea was next up after a quick tap penalty from Andy Franklin and it looked as though another cricket score was on the cards.
Southampton to their credit though never gave up and dug deep to keep Andover at bay using their big forwards to stem the tide.
They succeeded to blunt Andover for twenty minutes but as they tired the visitors pace once again exploited the gaps.
Stott’s quick feet and quick thinking led to two more lovely tries for him and in the last minute hooker Tom Waite was first on hand to finish a great piece of work from Froggett and Pollard.
Retallick added three more conversions to complete the scoring for an Andover side who look to be developing into a genuine threat in a league that grows tighter by the week.
Next Saturday Andover entertain Romsey at the Goodship ground looking for revenge for last season’s away defeat to their near neighbours.