The BUZZ

Forwards dominate as Symonds win final

Posted on: 09/03/2010

By Isaac Lee

Peter Symonds triumphed over King Edward VI in the Hampshire Under 18s Rugby Cup Final.

In a tight, low-scoring game, these local rivals played in front of the largest Symonds crowd of the season in horrible conditions at the Winchester RFC grounds. Symonds scored in the first half of a physical game and their drift defence held on to the lead despite a late surge from King Edward’s. The final 10-0 score does not do justice to the midfield battling from both sides.

Bad conditions from the start bogged the game down and most of it was played in the middle of the pitch. Peter Symonds hooker and man of match Alex Martin told The Buzz after the match that “KES were really physical and good in the ruck, it was a very tightly contested game dominated by forwards.” Indeed the only try was scored by Myles Roberts-Bailey in a quick breakaway after half an hour.

The match was filled with handling errors and mistakes as both teams struggled to dominate in the muddy, wet and slippery conditions, and the winger capitalised on a rare passage of passing along the line to run up the wing and touch down in the left corner.

If Symonds just shaded the first half, the second was even tighter, the only points coming from a Tom Humberstone penalty 10 minutes from time. The wet surface and mistakes meant penalties were at a premium. Perhaps a tactical error from King Edwards, they declined to kick theirs.

A late period of pressure from KES in an attempt at a late smash and grab came to nothing as Symonds held firm to bring the trophy back in what captain Zach Kinnaird called “a good win, really fantastic”.

The win was particularly sweet for coach Mike Marchant, playing on his home ground who said afterwards that it was “good to be on the winning side”. Marchant also highlighted the quality of the Winchester players involved and pointed out the strength of the area in rugby terms, so look forward to many more successes.

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