Tryfest as Andover's All Blacks go two points clear

Basingstoke Gazette: Action from Andover's excellent win over Millbrook on Saturday Action from Andover's excellent win over Millbrook on Saturday

Andover 38 Millbrook 19.

Oakwood sponsored Andover moved two points clear at the top of Snows Hampshire Division One last Saturday with a workmanlike performance against a tough Millbrook side.

Millbrook had won the last two encounters including the Hampshire Bowl final at the Goodship Ground last season and the pent up hurt of that experience was plenty to fire up a much improved Andover this time.

Millbrook arrived with a huge pack to try and counter the power of Andover’s forwards but the ploy left them a little short of pace around the park and Andover showed they can play either way in a six try demolition of their nearest rivals.

The All Black’s pack had their toughest time to date in the scrums, but still held their own comfortably and in the lineout with Marc Wilding and skipper Alex Morgan in fine form Andover were supreme.

They enjoyed good possession throughout and only indiscipline at the breakdown gave Millbrook any hope, as a series of silly penalties kept them in touch.

Andover began well and an astute Andy Franklin kick gave them an early attacking lineout.

Quick ball saw it moved wide and the ever-improving Elliott Copestake finished superbly in the corner.

The warning was then clear as Millbrook kicked the first of the needless chances they were given, before Andover struck again.

The pace and power of the Andover backs was causing havoc and when Jack Stott set off on a mazy run before feeding Rich Retallick to score the scene was set.

Retallick converted to extend the lead then after a period of solid defence it was Stott again who provided the moment of the game.

Receiving the ball in midfield surrounded by Millbrook players did not deter the prolific centre as with a series of side steps, hand offs and a burst of real pace Stott left all in his wake to give Retallick the easiest of conversions under the posts.

Andover should have been out of sight, but Millbrook continued to chip away with penalties until just before the break Simon Preece provided the breathing space and a bonus point with Andover’s fourth try.

Full report plus pictures in Friday's Advertiser

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