In weekend rugby action yesterday, Saturday, November 18, Isle of Wight hosted Eastleigh at Wootton.

As a result, the Isle of Wight now sit third in the league, four points behind leaders Havant III and equal on points with Fareham Heathens and Romsey.

  • Isle of Wight 54 -17 Eastleigh II

For the first 40 minutes, there was not much to separate the teams, reports Kieran Leahy.

However, the home side stepped up a gear in the second half and shut out the opposition.

Eastleigh gave the Isle of Wight plenty to think about in an interesting first half, defying their league position.

Debuting their new limited-edition centenary kit, the Islanders got to work and when awarded the put-in five metres out, they pushed Eastleigh over the line without much fuss.

Luke Blackman touched down after 14 minutes, before an Eastleigh forward was yellow-carded.

The IW took advantage, building sustained pressure to lead 14-5.

A failure by IW to clearing their lines from the restart mean they were made to pay by the sharp Eastleigh backs.

Later, a spell of supremacy was crowned by a try by hard-running centre Sam McQueen but Eastleigh fought straight back.

At the break, the Islanders had a 21-17 lead.

In the second half, a key score came in the 45th minute, as McQueen notched his second from close range and confirmed the bonus point. 

MarineFit Man of the Match, Finlay Lockhart, directing play well on his home debut and the Martin brothers getting through plenty of work in the second row, Blackman completed his hattrick to extend the lead to 33-17.

The next score was by debutant centre and Biffa Man of the Match, Danny Rackett - a reward for an eye-catching performance which featured several great interventions.

Further pressure saw IW stopped short, before Blackman again touched down.

Eastleigh dug in and gave IW little in the closing quarter, but there was time for one more score.

Good handling by Jehane le Grange, Nathan Rolfe and George Huish gave Cam Browne some space. The winger cut back in and was tackled, but was able to offload inside for allowing Blackman to score his fifth try.

A Huish kick meant his seventh successful conversion from eight attempts.

The referee called time five minutes early, but it mattered little as the outcome had long since been decided.

  • Next Saturday, Isle of Wight host Christchurch's two sides at Wootton Rec.