Match report by Richard V Isaacs

Hampshire kicked off their Jason Leonard U20 Championship Division 1 Pool 4 campaign with a very hard fought 24-7 victory over promoted neighbours Dorset and Wiltshire.

On a blisteringly cold Overton afternoon, last season’s semi-finalists came out of the blocks with some vigour but found the Twin Counties defence resolute.

Their stout defending actually cost the hosts the services of full-back Cameron McDonald after just two minutes with a twisted ankle as the lurched for the line but was held short.

In fact, it was the men in green who got onto the scoreboard first, much against the run of play when Salisbury second rower Hamish Janes sprinted some 30 yards to score with Harry Bazalgette (Exeter University) adding the extras.

This stung Hampshire into action and 18-year-old Havant centre (full-back in this match) Zac Clow had a debut that he will never forget.

Only called into the squad on Friday evening following an injury to Camberley’s Shawahang Rai, Clow was on the end of a fine move following some great pressure from the home side to level the scores, Russell Bennett adding the conversion.

And when skipper and flanker Josh Moore found himself in space to drive to the line just before half time, it gave Hampshire a 12-7 interval lead that their efforts deserved.

However, as a snow shower blustered through, Hampshire’s intensity cooled and a couple of back-to-back yellow cards – to second row Ed Grinsted and captain Moore – allowed the visitors to get a foothold into the game.

The home side soaked up everything the visitors threw at them and Clow’s second try after 69 minutes when he was put through under the posts gave Hampshire a sigh of relief and a cushion of a lead.

And the youngster crowned a memorable debut by sprinting over for his hat-trick and his sides’ bonus point fourth to give Hampshire a convincing-looking but hard battled for victory margin.





We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site

EU Cookie Directive Plugin Information