Andover 77 Petersfield 0

Andover returned to action with a bang at the Goodship ground last Saturday with an emphatic twelve-try romp against spirited visitors Petersfield.

Games between these two clubs are normally close affairs. Andover lost this fixture last season, but 'The All Blacks' have improved considerably since then and were too much for the visitors this time.

Skipper Alex Hibdige chose to play up the slope and Petersfield soon had Andover under pressure with a long spell of possession.

Saxon Safety-sponsored Andover showed their intent and hunger however as ferocious defending from CJ Feirn, James Monck, Tom Erskine and Callum Barber Starkey stopped them in their tracks.

Andover made their way up field and suddenly with ball in hand looked dangerous.

Andover's scrum supplied plenty of ball and Harrison Pape went close before conceding a penalty. From the visitors line out however, Bryn Waite stole the ball superbly, brother Tom smashed into midfield and quick hands saw the ball flash to Feirn who's miss pass found speedster Stan Bell to open his account for the day.

Soon after the Waite pair were at it again. After Rich Retallick had added a well struck penalty Andover gained good field position again, and from a short lineout move Bryn, fed Tom who smashed his way over for the second try. 

With half an hour gone 'Field' began to tire with the sheer effort of trying to stem the waves of Andover attacks and for the final ten minutes of the half  Andover ran riot.

Retallick cut through to score from a lovely set move and Louis Periera combined brilliantly with Jake Harwood for his first try.

Tom Waite and Erskine next combined to send Bell away for his second and before the break Periera completed his brace after charging down a defensive kick. Retallick converted all four scores to give Andover a commanding lead.

At half time Tom Waite was rested and Callum Barber Starkey took over the hooker duties. Roman Barton Knott came into the back row for his senior debut and Andover were soon back at it.

This time after good work from man of the match Sean Higgins, the ball found its way to Feirn who crashed forwards before releasing Harwood to finish well.

Petersfield to their credit tried to come back at Andover, but once again found the home defence in uncompromising mood and when the excellent Jake Dixon stole their lineout Andover once again poured forwards.

Higgins went close for Andover before further changes saw James Hague take the field and Charlie Waite return for his seasonal debut after a long injury lay off.

Waite's impact was immediate. From a scrum forty meters out, he took the ball, fed Harwood and his lovely return saw Waite scamper under the posts for a lovely try he converted himself.

Minutes later from another midfield scrum, the stand off showed his kicking skills as well when lovely cross kick found Bell to complete a fine hat trick.

Andover were not done and continued to press a visiting team who never gave in.

As the heavens opened the big forwards took centre stage with first Nic Reed crashing over and then Barton Knott finishing neatly for his first senior score.

Then with the last play of the day, Charlie Waite was again the provider as his blindside break fed Higgins who finished beautifully to complete the scoring.

Afterwards director of rugby Andy Waite said: "After such a long spell of no activity, it was great to blow out some cobwebs and then really play well. We scored some lovely tries and, in the conditions, moved the ball superbly at times.

"Petersfield never stopped trying and for me the most impressive thing was our defence. The second team also won away on the Isle of wight without conceding a point so defensively we are very happy with how the day went."