Southampton ended their 3-game winning streak when they met a big and strong Alresford side on Saturday. The game was intense with the forwards of both teams being tested due to the sheer volume of set pieces throughout the game.
Alresford started on the front foot, winning a free kick at the scrum and powering up to Southampton's line. A series of pick-and-goes from the forwards and they powered through to score the first points. Alresford's kicker had a poor day from the tee, in perfect conditions, with his first missed conversion.
A period of real back-and-forth rugby occurred including a great turnover from Captain Chris Gleboki setting up a Southampton attack, however the resulting clearance kick from Alresford, and good chase, forced Southampton full back Alex Burnham into touch. Alresford used their weight in the maul to drive over from the lineout in the corner but again no conversion was made. 10-0 to the home side.
Another silly mistake by SRFC, catching a clearance kick and then stepping into touch, again gave Alresford an opportunity to drive over in the corner to go 15-0 up with 3rd missed conversion. SRFC finished the half with a penalty scored from in front of the posts by Tom Morton, 15-3 half time.
SRFC started the second half very much on top. First an excellent penalty kick from the 10m line and then an easier kick from the 22 by Tom Morton cut the deficit to 15-9.
Everyone in attendance will then remember the next 20 minutes of rugby for a long time due to the physicality and intensity for which it was played with. Alresford were pushing hard on SRFC's try line, but scrum after scrum and line out after line out SRFC held firm. Alresford's previously unstoppable lineout-maul set piece was now not moving anywhere and SRFC were tackling any short attacks incredibly well. Credit here is due to all the players for no one giving in and giving the crowd a real spectacle to watch. Alresford eventually got quick ball and decided to unleash their backs who scored in the corner to get their bonus point in the closing minutes. The conversion was scored for 22-9.
SRFC can be very proud having gone toe-for-toe with one of the best sides in the league with momentum at the club growing each week.