PHOENIX have secured their first points in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Championship this season after a hard-fought 13-5 home win against Faringdon on Saturday.

The wet and winding conditions ensured it was a match for the purists, with both sides playing an attritional pick-and-drive game through their powerful forwards.

Cheered on by a crowd of hardy supporters, the Phoenix pack were utterly dominant in the scrum and it was not long before the pressure resulted in two penalties inside the Faringdon 22m line. The penalties were duly dispatched by fly-half, and captain for the day, Jason Townsend.

However, Faringdon hit back with a try on 38 minutes. Quick thinking from their captain saw him scamper over the try line after a tap-and-go from a penalty.

The conversion was missed but the home side could have gone into the break behind had the Faringdon kicker not missed a presentable penalty on the stroke of half-time.

As the rain continued to hamper any attempts at expansive rugby, Phoenix adopted a similar physical approach in the second-half.

Props Luca Piemontesi and Stephen Hyland were relishing every scrum and the pair were rewarded for their dominance on the hour as a string of re-set scrums finally led to a pushover score - number eight Callum Brodie bagged his second try in as many games.

Townsend slotted the conversion to hand the hosts an eight-point cushion that they never relinquished despite receiving a couple of yellow cards in the closing stages.

Phoenix make the short journey to rivals Farnham Royal this Saturday (3pm) in a game that will determine local bragging rights.

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