Petersfield remain 14 points clear at the top of Hampshire Counties One after winning 122-0 at home to Trojans.
Petersfield’s pre-match sponsors’ lunch brought more than 100 guests to the club.
In acknowledging World Cancer Day held on February 4 each year, both teams wore matching socks bought by the players in support of the Rugby Against Cancer charity – as many other teams did across England on Saturday.
Trojans RFC had suffered from a serious depletion of available players during the week because of a virus spreading throughout their senior sides.
Sportingly, and in the spirit of rugby, especially at the amateur level, Trojans had cobbled together a team consisting of no more than 15 players of all ages and ability. In doing this they fulfilled the fixture, so avoiding a league points deduction and honouring Petersfield’s home fixture.
Trojans started quickly and had Petersfield on the back foot for three minutes, pinning the hosts in their own half. Petersfield woke up and started playing what was to become exhibition rugby of an opposed training nature, while to their credit Trojans faced Field toe-to-toe and man-for-man until injuries reduced them to 14 players.
Their spirited defence and occasional attacks bore testament to their sportsmanship and good humour.
While Petersfield put the unfortunate visitors to the sword and records tumbled with one of the largest winning margins recorded in the club’s history, individuals in the team made many of the tries possible.
Jackson Clark, at loosehead prop, dominated in the scrum and was mobile in the loose. The back row of Rhys Bowen, Matt Momber and Liam Perkins secured ball, punched holes in the defence and set up scoring chances.
Inside centre Will Mathews, often the speedy link between half backs and back three, did sterling work and the bench of Sam Brown, Tom Potter and Sam Dawes did not disappoint.
There were four tries each from centre Matt McLean and winger George Davis, two by tighthead prop Dan Sargent and winger Miles Sampson, and one each by second rows Zak Jenkins and Franco Tomic, scrum half Alex Duffus and replacement Dawes, while full back Joe Knowles claimed one try and two conversions. Fly half Nick Blumlein, who had an excellent day with the boot, scored 28 points from conversions and added a further five through his own, under the crossbar, try.
The question asked of players and coaches was what was learnt from the match. The conclusion was that as a team Petersfield are playing an all-court game, exercising training plays that strengthen defence and attack, gaining confidence in the players around them helped by a few weeks of more consistent selection while appreciating there are players competing for many places.
On Saturday the first team travel to seventh-placed Eastleigh, who have won four out of their past five matches.