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Rugby: Vikings now the only undefeated side in league

Rugby: Vikings now the only undefeated side in league

Monday 20 November 2023

Rugby: Vikings now the only undefeated side in league

Monday 20 November 2023


St Jacques Vikings won the battle of the undefeated sides in Counties 2 Hampshire after they produced a strong first half performance against Basingstoke.

The score was: Vikings 25 - Basingstoke 14

It was a real test for Ray Smart’s side as they faced a decent Basingstoke outfit, while also battling testing conditions at Les Ozouets Campus.

St Jacques had the benefit of the downhill slope and the strong wind behind them in the first half, and they put this to good use to run in three first half tries.

Matt Lomas had an early opportunity to put the Vikings into the lead, but he pushed the penalty kick just wide. He would soon put that right.

While the Vikings forwards caused much of the early damage, it was Lomas who crossed the whitewash on the left wing after 11 minutes, following a dominant scrum by the home side.

St Jacques extended their lead through man-of-the-match Liam Welch. The black and yellows turned over the ball in a lineout and managed to drive back Basingstoke to near their line, before Welch showed great power to force his way over the line. Lomas converted.

From another close scrum, the home side produced a dominant drive before Dale Rutledge quickly distributed to the waiting Joe Le Roux who forced himself over in the corner.

Basingstoke brightly in the second half as the Vikings were forced to defend deep in the mud. They scored their first try through Alfie Rowley.

Liam Welch then scored the try of the match, after Vikings won clean lineout ball just outside the Basingstoke twenty-two. He received the ball on the run and burst through the would-be tackler before sprinting all the way over the line. The bonus point was secured and the try converted.

Basingstoke continued to attack the Vikings and were playing some good rugby in the conditions. They scored their second try through Jake Jagged, and their tails were up.

The Vikings were holding a 14 point lead, but Baskingstoke got another chance after the ball spilled out the back of a lineout. They were quick to react to gather the ball, before Stephen Ansell drove over. The resulting conversion was  just wide, meaning they missed out on a losing bonus point.

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Smart’s side go second in the league table, with two big games coming up against US Portsmouth next weekend, before making a trip to the league leaders Sandown & Shanklin, who have played a game more than the Vikings.

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