The second round of the BrightStaff Alex Alexander Premiership took place on Saturday 31 January.
DHL Cayman Storm were looking to build on their winning ways from the previous week against the BPC Buccaneers, while the Don Foster’s Dive Iguanas would be looking for redemption against the Heineken Surge.
The first game of the day saw the Under 20 Surge line up against a much fancied Iguanas who with the addition of some key players were expected to improve on their first outing of the season. It was however the Under 20s, making their debut in the Alex Alexander Trophy who were to take the spoils at the end of the game.
The Iguanas’ much vaunted pack clearly had strength and power on their side but throughout the game were unable to convert the possession into points. In contrast to this the Surge turned the majority of their opportunities into points.
First blood went to the Surge with Hammersley converting a penalty in the early stages of the game. The next score was around the half hour mark when fly half Cumber levelled the scores. Just prior to half time the Iguanas took the lead with a good passage of play leading to Bunce going over in the corner the putting the Iguanas into an 8-3 half time lead.
The second half once again saw the Iguanas with plenty of possession but they failed to apply their game plan and were all too often making individual runs which resulted in turnover ball. The Surge were making tackles and were quick to the breakdown which prevented the Iguanas establishing any kind of momentum. The big turning point in the second half came from an error in the Iguanas’ back line. A failed chip over the defensive line resulted in Manderson scampering away to the try line from within his own half. The resultant conversion was converted giving the Surge a 10-8 lead. This lead was then extended within the last 10 minutes with some good concerted effort leading to Wilson avoiding some tackles and going over near the posts. Hammersley once again did the honours with the conversion giving them a 17-8 lead. The Iguanas tried everything to get a score and were rewarded with 3 points from a penalty kick by Little. It was however to be nothing more than a consolation as the Surge ran out deserved 17-11 winners.
The second match of the day saw last season’s Waterford Vase finalists doing battle once more. The Storm would be looking to build on their good win over the Iguanas whilst the Buccaneers were looking to make an impact in their first game of the season.
It was the Buccaneers who started the strongest with a several phases of controlled play. The pressure was eventually converted into points with Alt scoring in the corner. The Storm then came back strongly with Hale capitalising on a handling error from the Bucs in their own 22. The conversion from Forrest put the Storm in to the lead, and one which they were never to relinquish. Good teamwork from the Storm resulted in their captain Sean Bacon going over and with the conversion took a 14-5 lead. However the Bucs were clearly still a threat and capitalised well on an opportunity late in the second half with Gerrard going over in the corner. The conversation made things close with a 14-12 score at half time.
In the second half the Storm made their possession tell with some fluid passages of play, whereas the Bucs seemed to struggle to get quick ball and release their potent backs. A try for Hawkins in between two Forrest penalties stretched the Storm lead out to 25-12. Then came the highlight of the game, a deft kick from Forrest using the outside of his boot resulted in panic in the Bucs defence. The bounce was then perfectly collected by Forrest to go over for a memorable score. At 30-12 the game looked over but the Bucs proved that they would keep going to the end and a series of phases on the Storm try line resulted in Sage diving over from the back of the ruck to score to make the final score 30-17.
The win leaves the Storm leading the points log on two wins from two games, followed by the Surge on one win from one game. With two defeats in two games, the Iguanas are in third on the log thanks to a bonus point, with the Buccaneers bringing up the rear with no points gained.
The Storm will be pleased at how their team is gelling and the performance of the youngsters. The Bucs showed in passages they are a real threat and have plenty to build on for their next match.