Eastleigh are too hot to handle in the big freeze

5:03pm Tuesday 14th February 2012

Eastleigh proved too hot for their opponents to handle on a freezing cold day to underline their place on top of Snows Group Hampshire 1.

The Bishopstoke Road side returned from Lytchett Minster at the weekend with a comfortable, 50-3 bonus point win – the game just one of a handful that managed to beat the bitter arctic conditions.

Lowly Lychett only ventured into Eastleigh’s 22 three times throughout the 90 minutes.

They did battle hard at the breakdown but Eastleigh’s superior lineout and set pieces were just too hard to handle.

Eastleigh pressured Lytchett from the kick off and, within three minutes, were awarded a penalty try following a deliberate offside during a pushover attempt.

Scrum half Jon Lynch converted to make it 7-0.

Eastleigh missed two opportunities to increase their advantage before Ash Holland went over in the corner.

The home side then put their only points of the day on the board with a penalty.

After some good attacking rugby and fast recycling at the breakdown, second row Adam Kidd scored a try and Dave Craddock brought up the bonus point shortly before half-time – both scores converted by Lynch for a 26-3 lead at the break.

At half-time Eastleigh made some positional changes and it was not long before flanker Dave Craddock, now playing in the centre, scored his second try of the day. Full back, Chris Cove took over the kicking and added the extras to go 33-3 in front.

Eastleigh followed up with an unconverted push-over try by Paul Fudio, Holland scored his second try of the day – his 11th league try in nine games – and prop Paul Taylor also got the ball to ground.

With close rivals Fordingbridge sidelined by the weather, Eastleigh have moved nine points clear at the top of the league.

Coach Andy Boyes said: “It wasn’t our best performance but, given the postponement last week and being limited to only two hours training in the last two weeks, I’m more than happy with our victory.’ The only other game in Hampshire 1 was also onesided – home club Isle of Wight defeating plucky Southsea Nomads 71-0.

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