From left, Matt Rogers, Nick Joyce, Harrison Marsh and Dan Bell. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
RUGBY IW II 17, Ventnor II 60
A STRONG Ventnor second string, commanded by brothers Matt and Steve Rogers, crushed IW II on their own patch on Saturday.
Ventnor were certainly the in-form side going into this Merit Three game but the scoreline was far larger than many expected, as the visitors ran in ten tries.
IW were immediately on the back foot as Ventnor opened an early lead, Steve Rogers scoring the first before scrum half Matt Rogers jinked over for the second. One of the tries was converted to make it 12-0.
IW bounced back well and from their first serious drive from the powerful pack, they narrowed the gap. Rouse Intelligent Financial Planning man of the match Daniel Hodgson, just signed from Ryde, crashed over in the corner, and Kieran Leahy converted.
One try was enough, however, to spur Ventnor on further and, in the space of around ten minutes, they bombarded the IW line, breaching it three times for some lovely tries, all converted by Riches.
The first two were from Steve Rogers with Warren Fresle adding the third.
In the second half, things were far more even — at least at the start — with probing attacks from both sides as IW looked to narrow the deficit.
They seemed to be on track when substitute Ali Downer crashed over but Ventnor were in no mood to let the IW back in and, after Riches somehow missed a penalty in front of the posts, Matt Rogers crashed over again.
The try of the game came shortly after when, from their own try line, Ventnor counter attacked with pace, Rogers breaking before offloading to Gav Davis, who fought off the challenge of three players to go over.
And from the restart they struck for their eighth score, as Henry James went over.
IW scored a consolation try through French forward Luc Arnaud but two further scores from Davis and from Matt Rogers, to complete his hat-trick, meant this was Ventnor’s day.
IW II: Gelling, Leitch, Keyworth, Curran, Horton, Puckett, Leahy, Arnaud, Love, Brine, Westley, Frost-Jones, Lock, Joyce, Hodgson. Subs: Mitchell, Hatch, Downer, Courtney, Carter, Preston.
Ventnor II: Collins, Marsh, James, Davis, Bradshaw, Chiverton, Bell, Winter, M. Rogers, Fresle, Cripps, M. Cooper, Davis, Venier, Riches. Subs: S. Rogers, R. Cooper, Bolton, Martin, Franklin, Maskell.