SRFC travelled to a windy Fawley ground exposed to the elements, losing the toss and playing into the wind the first half. SRFC named a very strong squad, with key players returning after extended Christmas breaks, and quickly identified the main threat in Fawley's midfield. The Fawley centre quickly showed his power and pace by breaking through tackle-after-tackle gaining a lot of ground. However, Callum Neave decided to stop the move by shoulder-barging the Fawley winger when he was put clean-through, somehow escaping a yellow (apparently because it was so early in the game). The barn-storming run seemed to take effect on the key Fawley centre with him in clear pain and he eventually left the field a short while later. SRFC had their own quality centres though and Manu Tuilagi (aka new recruit Tiago Dias) started to show his pace and power by taking crash balls straight into, and through, Fawley's midfield.
SRFC had been defending in their 22 for most of the half, due to Fawley's kicking and the strong wind, but showed great defence forcing fumble and errors from Fawley in every play. Flanker Fola Bishi eventually created SRFC's first try by breaking through numerous tackles, before speeding away and settling up Pablo Contreras for the breakaway try in the corner. This caused another Fawley injury - which kept SRFC's physio busy as he had nothing else to do for his own players - with the conversion missed (which was directly into the wind, from the touchline).
More resolute defending kept the half tight although some 'interesting' offload decisions (*cough cough Harry Sievewright*) did limit SRFC's attacking potential.
Straight from the kick off, SRFC showed how the wind could be used effectively, by using the set piece (as good as it has been all season from the forwards) to get good ball to Coach / Fly Half Tom Morton and chased down by willing wingers to gain 40 yards at a time. Silly errors haunted SRFC with Kev 'Bean' Simmons running a penalty straight in from of the posts that was knocked-on over the line by his fellow prop Jack Caunt. Luckily, errors such as these did not cause any problems though as Fawley's tactics included trying to kick directly into the wind, out of their try line. Harry Sievewright showed what he can do with the ball in hand by breaking through the centre of the field and scoring under the posts with a conversion for good measure.
Fawley were becoming more and more afraid of Tiago in the centres which allowed for a 5m out scrum to dummy an 8-9-12 move with the ball touched down before Fawley even realised Tiago wasn't getting it. Another conversion seemed to end the match.
SRFC then tried to play more expansive and, after another march up the field in Fawley's 22, SRFC got the ball out wide - luckily winger Kenny Baughan's weak pass bounced perfectly off the floor up into the chasing SRFC full back's (Callum Neave) hands for him to run into the corner to secure the bonus point, with no conversion.
The only negative of the game was SRFC allowing Fawley to score a try through weak tackling and unorganised defence.
SRFC secured the bonus point win but could have played much better, which shows the progression the team has took this season. A bonus point, away, win against 3rd place Fawley is something to be very proud of, yet this SRFC team is aiming higher.
Fawley, helpfully, filmed the match and cut most of it into highlights on Youtube below.