Romsey replaced opponents Southampton on top of Snows Group Hampshire 2 with a 32-22 home victory.

And their place at the summit had as much to do with defending as it did the five tries they produced.

Southampton’s powerful driving mauls proved too much for Romsey, who had a couple of players sin binned for infringements as they battled to deal with them.

Saints’ did earn a try bonus point after flanker James Cannaeux scored a hat-trick of tries and Kenny Baughan went over the line late on.

However, a couple of tries from Romsey’s Jack Finch and others from Alex Hill, Henry Ashton and Sam Sleap was enough to set up the victory.

A losing bonus point would have kept Saints top but the Romsey pack kept out a late drive.

“Every point matters and so it was imperative that the pack stopped the late drive to prevent them gaining a losing bonus point,” said Romsey back rower Gus Layton.

“To see the old man Gerry Frances putting his body on the line to get under the ball beneath a wave of Southampton players is testament to how far we have come as a team.”

Ellingham & Ringwood’s women’s side put in a tremendous performance to remain top of National Challenge Division South West when they beat second placed St Mary’s OBs from Bristol 8-7 in a thrilling encounter.

Megan Bradley kicked an early penalty for Ellingham and winger Nina Hoadly won the game with a second half try following a converted try from St Mary’s.

Trojans’ ladies were beaten 17-12 in an exciting game at Hove in the Women’s Championship South.

Winchester RFC fielded a competitive women’s side for the first time against Basingstoke. ‘Stoke won convincingly but Winch intend to field more sides.