Bognor returned from the Isle of Wight with a bonus-point 29-15 victory in division one of the Hampshire League after scoring four classy tries in the first half.
Despite a lacklustre performance in the second half, Bognor will be pleased with their start to the season having not dropped a point in their first two outings.
An early start saw Bognor arrive on the IoW some seven hours before kick-off. Coaches Rob Outen and Martin Broome consulted with their dietician and first XV captain for the day, Josh Burgess, and took the players for a nutritious pre-match meal in Ryde.
Jacob Masters soared to catch the kick-off and Sam Newcombe cleared the danger with an excellent box kick. Bognor chased down the full-back to establish good territory but infringed at the ruck. The IoW fly-half coolly knocked over a long-range kick for the lead.
Sadly, Burgess was withdrawn from the game after he suffered a nasty blow to the chin. Lee Shergold was introduced with Patrick Gibbs switching to outside centre.
The changes made an immediate impact. Jack Hornibrook made a half break in the IoW half and found Bulgarian international Vencislav Angelov with an offload.
The young jockey fixed his opposite man and fed Shane Stevens – the former triple-jumper was in fine form using his considerable pace to outsprint the cover defence.
Angelov offloaded to his front row partner Joe Greenslade who barged his way forward and presented clean ball for the backs. Shergold, George Castleton and Gibbs combined in a textbook training ground move and Gibbs scooted under the posts to score. Shergold converted.
Bognor bagged another score almost immediately. This time the forwards earned hard yards around the ruck with Chris Barlow and Nathan Archer clearing out superbly. Graham Broome spotted a gap and burst through to score beneath the posts again. Shergold converted.
Bognor were now rocking and scored another superb team try. From a lineout, the ball was shipped wide to debutant Daniel Passingham, who burst forward earning hard yards. Shergold found Lee Balchin who threw a fine 30-yard pass wide, totally fooling the IoW defence. Gibbs took the pass cleanly and glided in for his second score. Shergold converted.
A final try came just before half-time for Bognor. From a scrum, Nigel Mitchell fed Newcombe and the Bognor backs executed another textbook training ground play creating space for Hornibrook.
The young jockey fixed his opposite man and fed Shane Stevens – the former triple-jumper was in fine form using his considerable pace to outsprint the cover defence. Shergold missed the conversion.
The second half was far duller than the first. Bognor infringed regularly and IoW scored two good tries of their own. There were some positives for Bognor, though. The backs continued to create chances only for several try-scoring passes to go amiss or be knocked on.
Ryan Power and Chris Webb were introduced and made further valuable contributions. In the end, Bognor saw off a mini-fightback from IoW and will be pleased to leave the island with five points secured.
Bognor now have two weeks off before facing their old adversaries Millbrook at home on October 17 (2pm). Both sides hope to gain promotion from Hampshire one this year and BRFC will welcome all support for their first home game of the year.
BOGNOR: Greenslade, Broome, Angelov, Masters, C Barlow, Balchin, N Archer, N Mitchell, Newcombe, Gibbs, Stevens, Castleton, Burgess, Passingham, Hornibrook. Powerful, Webb, Shergold.
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