The Greyhounds played their second game of the season at home against the Southampton University medics team. After last week’s painful loss to Old Alleyanians, the team were keen to secure an initial win, and a number of players were also pushing for Blues selection. Ultimately, the Hounds triumphed convincingly 50 points to 10 over Southampton and the form of a number of players will be difficult to ignore for the Blues game against the Northampton Saints this Monday.
Charlie Marr kicked off proceedings with a typically well-judged and delicate kick-off. More generally, Marr, the returning Blues fly-half, controlled proceedings well providing shape, strong running and width to the team. He was imposing until subbed early in the second half. The Hounds were first to score with a strong forwards’ try from a 5 metre line-out from NO 8 Michael Rickner, Marr converting, but Southampton strung together some slick off-loads after busting through the middle and were rewarded with a try from their talented full-back, who also added the conversion and a penalty to nudge the Medics in front.
The rest of the first-half see-sawed in a similar fashion. Jason Law, the robust American back-row forward, tackled ferociously; Will Fell, last year’s U21’s captain, was similarly dynamic at open-side flanker; and highly rated new recruit Andrew McCulla provided some exceptionally slick service at scrum-half. The Hounds added to further score prior to the break from right wing Sam Wareham and full-back Alastair Adams-Cairns, Marr converting one to make the score at half-time 19 – 10.
In the second half, the game opened up and the Hounds began to take control. Henry Hughes, converted from an open-side flanker to outside centre, was immense in scoring a try himself, making a series of telling runs and defending brutally in the outside channels. He was awarded Man of the Match for his efforts. Second row Tim Little was also conspicuous both in the line-outs and in general play – he crashed over for a well-deserved try midway through the second half.
The highlight of the second half came from an unlikely source. James Wisson, long-time erstwhile hooker for the Blues and Hounds, finished a delightful move, stepping daintily around the opposition full-back to score under the posts. He will be furious with his front row partner, Jonny Direen, who failed to sufficiently charge the camera. As such, a masterpiece of front row footwork has been lost for future generations.
The remainder of the half saw the Hounds score two further tries as they really hit their stride, through centre Dylan Jones and Adams-Cairns added a second. Marr and Jones added three conversions to make the final score an impressive 50 – 10.
The Hounds will be pleased with their efforts and the rest of the season looks promising. Their next match will be against the Welsh Academicals on the 3rd November .
Team Joe Mason, James Wisson, John Direen, Sam Hitchings, Tim Little, Jason Law, William Fell, Michael Rickner, Andrew Mcculla, Charlie Marr, James Dargan, Dylan Jones, Henry Hughes, Sam Wareham, Alastair Adams-Cairns
Subs Sung Park (on for James Wisson), Matt Powell (on for John Direen), Matt Craggs (on for Jason Law)
Scores T: Alastair Adams-Cairns (2), Sam Wareham (1), James Wisson (1), Tim Little (1), Michael Rickner (1), Dylan Jones (1), Henry Hughes (1) C: Charlie Marr (3), Dylan Jones (2)