We need your help. Are you interested or do you know someone who might be? Please get in touch to fill the following vacancies for the 2018/2019 season:
We need an enthusiastic volunteer to help with member and external Chobham Rugby communication. Core responsibilities include building Chobham Rugby brand equity by delivering the right communication content at the right time and place and consistently keeping key stakeholders ( members, sponsors, external media ) up to date with all our whole club news and information. Can you help to manage our communication strategy, plans and build a communication team?
Join the Communication Team
- Perhaps you can help out with just one area of communications? How about putting your WordPress webmaster skills to good use and helping us to continue to develop our website and keep it up to date as a focal point for all club related content?
- Do you have a PR background? Could you help as a press & media publicity manager to be the contact point for all external media enquiries and initiatives, preparing articles to share our news with the wider community?
- Are you active on social media? Be our social media expert and manage our club social media accounts, posting content in all relevant internal and external social media?
- Do you have communications experience? Could you help with members communications, managing our mailing list, preparing quarterly newsletters and helping to share member news across the whole club on our website and club social media platforms?
Senior Roles needed for new season
Fixtures Secretary ( Senior Section)
If your interested in taking on this key role then please contact Neil Gadsby on 07578 621264 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a chat at the club where he will explain what the key tasks for the Senior Section Fixture Secretary.
1st Team Managers Assistant
Many hands make light work! Come along and lend a hand to support Chobham Rugby on 16th June.
Match Report from Doug Mayger:
So if it’s Sunday it must be Dorking for the U15 As, for the third time in just a couple of months and the second weekend in succession. This time in something called the Twickenham Cup Final at Farnham, reward for winning their group in the Harlequins Cup.
The first game on Sunday saw the B squad come up against Farnham B at Fowlers Wells, looking to close their season on a winning note having played mainly A sides in 2018. This they did in style with a convincing 30-10 win demonstrating their prowess when facing equivalent opposition.
On to the Cup Final then, at a cold and windy Monkton Lane. With a good hour prep’ Chobham set off like a train. The kick-off was pinched as Dorking were hesitant under a high kick. Chris was through a gap in the line and was deep in to hoops territory before being brought down. Strong drives around the ruck by the forwards took play to within 5 yards before the backs then looked to break through down the left side. Play was brought to a halt as Dorking strayed offside and Chob took a short kick to the corner for a lineout.
A safe catch from Matt and good body positions saw Dorking on the receiving end of their own medicine as the forwards drove them at pace back over their line and Charlie dotted down for the first points and a 5-0 lead after a couple of minutes.
Dorking were in the Chob half then for the first time from the restart but their scrum was under pressure and they were forced back to halfway as Tommy stole the ball following some loose play.
At the next Dorking put in Chob took a rare steal against the head and play moved back into the Dorking 25 once more. The boys were unable to force home the advantage and Dorking cleared to midfield where Jack was able to recover the bouncing ball. At the tackle the defence went off their feet however and Dorking put in a kick close to the Chob line.
Just like the previous week the boys in blue pushed the drive backwards and then the big loose forward was brought down by Fin and was pinged for hanging on. Chob cleared their lines but Dorking were beginning to have a bit more possession and got themselves to the Chob 25 and won a penalty.
Clearly Dorking had given up now on the drive as they opted for the penalty, only to see the ball sail wide of the upright and go for a 25 drop out. At this point Chob had to change a few positions as Dan went off with a rib injury and Callum stepped up to the front row and Aran joined the backs.
After a couple of false starts Chob were able to get on the front foot once more and attack in the Dorking half. A clever grubber from Gideon had the fullback scrambling and he was met with a blue wall who carried him over his own line for a 5 yard scrum. From this platform the backs earned a penalty close in and from a quick tap Jack was able to go over near the posts after only being half tackled. Chris added the extras and it was a 12-0 lead.
It was honours even for a spell as play moved slowly between the two 25s until Dorking had another penalty close in just before the whistle and managed to narrow the gap to 9 points at the break.
Right from the whistle to restart Chob were able to press Dorking as they had strayed offside for the kick. A lineout followed by the backs driving through the middle led to a big blindside and when the ball was released Chris fed Adam on the wing who had the footwork to go round a forward and dive in at the corner, the lead being extended to 17-3.
The ref for this match was the same as had reffed the Surrey Cup final between these two the previous weekend and he started to pick up on many of the same offences as he had over at Vandals. Chob started to get blown for offside and couldn’t create any kind of momentum as Dorking had the greater possession and territory. They in turn had reverted to their tighter 9 man approach and started to see the dividend. With Chob near their own line Dorking had a shortened line out, they opted for the quick ball to a big forward on the hoof. A penalty was conceded and from a quick tap the hoops pack had enough grunt to rumble over and reduce the deficit to 17-8.
The effect of a long season and a lot of games squeezed into the final few weeks was beginning to take its toll on both sides as the half progressed. Chob lost Al to a shoulder injury, though luckily Billy and Andy were able to step up from the bench having already played for the Bs.
With the timer already showing 30 minutes Dorking had another penalty near the Chob line. As on so many occasions this season the defensive line held and the ball wasn’t grounded. Dorking went wide from the resulting scrum though and were able to get over the line inches from the flag to come back to 17-13.
This was two minutes into injury time, but anyone who had been at the marathon before new there would be plenty more time to come.
In this final period of play Chob managed to wrest back control of the play and spent the majority of time in the Dorking half. Dorking had one opportunity to create some pressure but a missed penalty kick down the line around the Chob 25 kept them at bay, then a rushed pass in midfield gave the ball up. Chob ended the game with a drive through the centre and keeping the ball tight with pops around the fringe. Last play was called with a Chobham lineout that was safely taken and kicked off the park thus ensuring an unbeaten 8 from 8 in competitive matches for the squad and ending the season with two bits of silverware to celebrate at the end of a long season.
Squad: Jack, Adam, Doug, Fin, Harry, Chris, Gideon, Dan, Charlie, Oli, Callum, Al, Connor, Tommy, Matt, Aran, Billy, Andy.
Match Report: Doug Mayger
Match Report from Doug Mayger :
The Under 15 Bs and As made the short trip to Vandals on Sunday or their respective cup matches. The B squad faced Guildford A in the Chairman’s Cup, whilst the As were in the President’s Cup final against Dorking.
The Bs were first in action, taking the kick-off cleanly and Guildford were caught offside for the first of several times during the opening few minutes. Chobham opted to play close to the breakdown early on, looking to make ground into the Guildford half before using the wider channels. The Guildford defence was up to the task and were able to limit the possession gained and ultimately turned the ball over and kicked to midfield. Chobham then conceded their first penalty and Guildford were quickly close the blue line with an attacking lineout.
A sack at the line prevented any drive being started but Guildford retained possession and used the three-quarters for the first time. They looked to have made it count but the Guildford wing managed to spill the ball as he tried to dot down. Sadly the ref went back to an earlier infringement and this time the Guildford attack was able to open the scoring out wide and lead 5-0.
Chobham were quickly on the offensive at the restart with their best spell of the match through the remainder of the half. A strong chase led to a knock-on on the Guildford 25. A blind side move gave Lewis room to run hard at his opposite wing and with strong support play was taken up to the 5 yard line. A tap penalty got to within a yard of the line and Rhys was able to squirm over for the equalising score. Samuel was sure footed with the conversion and Chob were leading 7-5.
Chob were able to maintain their momentum and a superb 15 yard drive from a lineout took them close once more. The backs were working well together with Andy coming off the blind side wing and MattW jinking forward to keep Guildford on the back foot. MattW unfortunately succumbed to a nasty ankle injury at this stage but Chob were able to keep on the offensive but without managing to add to their slender lead at half-time.
In the second period Chob kicked deep and tried to keep the pressure on. A spilled pass gave Guildford a scrum and their centre was able to slip through a gap in the defence to break free. His powerful run was too quick for the defenders and he was able to scramble home under the posts and leave a simple conversion to regain a 5 point advantage.
This breakaway score worked wonders for Guildford as they raised their game and were able to repel Chob’s attacking options and work their way back into Chob territory. More hard running from a quick penalty and some tiring tackling gave them another score and a 12 point lead at 19-7.
With Chob now chasing the game they began to stray offside in their eagerness to claw back some points and a series of penalties saw Guildford back in the Chob’ 25. Guildford’s fly half darted for the line but he was kept out manfully and turned over. The clearing kick was just too low however and Guildford were able to parry it and re-gather. Their backline moved left but were given no time on the ball and a loose pass bounced free. As is often the way though it bounced back and to a Guildford player who took full advantage to power over in the left corner to extend the lead to 24-7.
With a few minutes remaining Chob chased the restart again and Lewis flattened the full-back giving a target for the forwards who won a penalty at the ruck.
Andy came in off the blind side wing again and then the ball was moved out too Saxon in the outside centre channel. As he was tackled he executed a superb back handed flip pass to Lewis on the wing who scooped it off his toes and was able to cross the whitewash as he was tackled to get one back. Rhys slotted the conversion and it was now just a 10 point lead.
Chob went after a final consolation score as time ran down, keeping the ball alive as Alfie, Billy, Akin and Harvey drove through the midfield and back into the Guildford half. The Guildford defence managed to take the attack over the touchline eventually and the ref blew for full-time.
So ended another strong showing from a squad who competed well against another A squad, underlining the depth of ability throughout the age group.
The Bs have one final match at home against Farnham B to see if they can end the season in style.
Squad:Samuel, Lewis, MattW, Akin, Andy, Rhys, SamO, Billy, Ben, Alfie, Max, Harvey, Saxon, Teo, Harrison, Finn, Joe, Hugh, Joe, TomH, Danny, TommyW.
For the As it was time for the President’s Cup final, the premier Surrey junior competition. Few on either side will have forgotten the dramatic end the last time these sides met with Chob winning narrowly 15-12 on the last play of the match. No doubt Dorking would be desperate to avenge that reverse.
Chobham started quickly and earned an attacking scrum from a good high kick. Dorking were then pinged and Chob kicked into the Hoops 25. An early release off the top gave the backs a first chance to attack but it came to nought as Chob lost the ball in contact. Within a couple of minutes Dorking were well into Chob territory as a series of penalties allowed them to kick upfield.
Having a much bigger pack, the Dorking strategy was clearly based around the ‘forward rumble’ as they opted for the drive from the lineouts. They pounded away with the big lads looking to crash through but the first up tackling from Doug and Harry was superb and they finally resorted to spinning it wide where the backs didn’t carry anything like the threat of the pack and they coughed up possession from a loose pass for Chob to clear their lines as Adam was first to react and snuff out the attack.
Penalties continued to come as Chob pushed the offside line too hard and Dorking were able to set up another lineout 10 yards out. Initially they tried to draw another penalty, holding the catcher airborne before offloading to the scrum half. Tommy broke from the back of the line to bring down the fly-half behind the gain line and win a pressure relieving penalty for holding on.
With the first half almost 15 minutes old the ref awarded the first scrum of the game to Dorking. Chob’s tight five were sharper than Dorking and Charlie pinched one against the head. With the Dorking backs having to react to the lost ball Chob made the most and Chris was into space. Connor was on hand to take the ball at pace and got to within a yard or two of the line before being hauled down. Chob then thought they had got the first score but the ref decided he couldn’t see and awarded a 5 yard scrum.
A loose pass was then picked up by Dorking and Jack had to make a last ditch tackle on halfway before Dorking hacked further upfield towards the Chob try line. The boys were able to get back into some kind of defensive alignment and MattN put in a superb tackle and then get back on his feet to win another relieving penalty.
From a squint Dorking throw Chob had a scrum in good field position and for the first time in the game slick handling out to Aran on the wing threatened the Hoops line. After an interchange between forwards and backs Tommy broke through and opened the scoring in the left hand corner, a little too wide for the conversion attempt.
The Dorking restart didn’t go 10 yards but Charlie saw a gap and burst through the advancing forwards into the Dorking half. The full-back made the tackle but Chob were still in the ascendancy.
The rush defence was working well and Reece scooped up a dropped pass to set up a quick ruck, but the chip through was just too long.
The whistle was beckoning as Dorking squeezed out to halfway before kicking away possession. Chob returned the kick for the Dorking player to get ball and a crunching tackle from Fin in unison. The ensuing penalty was kicked downfield and this time the Chob forwards got the drive going with props Oli and Dan combining to good effect to make sure Dorking ended the half with a blank score line.
Dorking started the second period sticking to Plan A as they were able to get a good drive from a lineout and put Chobham into trouble. Going through the phases tight in the defence buckled and finally broke as Dorking levelled with a short drive into the corner.
Chob were back near their line immediately as they were offside from the kick and Dorking went for the drive again. They managed to spill the ball and were then penalised for an early shove, trying to counter the rock steady Chob scrum. Gideon was alert to the space and made a break into Dorking territory, looking for his backline outside him Dorking were judged to have deliberately knocked on and Chob had a penalty in promising position. Another quick tap with Chob carrying well got to the 5 yard line through Callum and Charlie was able to dart through a gap to score Chobham’s second try again out wide to restore the 5 point gap.
The game became a bit of an arm wrestle with Dorking keeping the ball tight and their backs grateful it was a warm day as they waited to have a run with the ball. In truth the tactic worked well to a point as Chob conceded a number of penalties but when it really counted Dorking couldn’t get the ball over the line and Chob held them out on the line a number of times.
The referee had warned Chobham about the penalty count and finally waved the yellow card and Chob were down to 14. Sensing this was their chance Dorking tried to crank up the pressure up front but a tremendous defensive shift, with Al stepping in at hooker, kept them out and managed to turn over possession to clear upfield. Dorking’s driving maul had centred on an early peel from the front man but eventually the ref decided that they weren’t engaging legally and started calling them for it.
Into injury time and restored to a full fifteen Chob had been able to eke out some territory and were looking to settle the tie. Another lineout free kick and Oli was charging at the heart of the Dorking defence. With his forward mates at his heels the ball was in the backs hands but white line fever struck and Dorking had the ball back once more.
Added time seemed to last forever as Dorking had one final spell of pressure near the Chobham line. Once again they tried to bully their way over, choosing to attack down the narrow blindside where a try might realistically only earn them a draw. Despite the close attentions of their own band of supporters in the corner Dorking couldn’t find the way through on the last play, and it was left to MattN to grab a dropped pass and hoof the ball gleefully off the park and seal a memorable victory.
The trophy will be presented at an awards night in a few weeks, but such is the way of junior rugby that these two sides will face each other for the third time in cup competition as they meet in a Harlequins Cup finals day game at Farnham. Victory for Chobham would make it 8 wins from 8 in competitive fixtures this season.
Squad:Jack, Adam, Doug, Fin, Harry, Chris, Gideon, Dan, Charlie, Oli, Callum, Al, Connor, TommyP, MattN, Reece, Aran.
Match Report: Doug Mayger
Photographs: David Newton
Team Photographs: Federico Petersen, Jamie Phillips
Match Report from Doug Mayger :
The Under 15 Bs and As hosted Esher and London Irish As respectively on Sunday, following a tour to Dublin where all the boys showed great application in narrow defeats to Suttonians U16 squad.
First up were the Bs who yet again were up against an A squad containing some big units who were keen to carry the ball at the Chobham defence.
The early exchanges were a little scrappy as both sides struggled to hold the ball in contact and create a platform to attack from. Esher then had the first opportunity as the home side were penalised at the ruck and Esher kicked to the corner. A neat front peel was held, but illegally so Esher opted for another line in the corner. This time the catch and drive option, with maybe a hint of ‘truck and trailer’ was held on the line, but a pick and go found a gap to go over by the corner flag and opening the scoring for the visitors at 0-5.
The restart dropped to Esher’s main ball carrier with space to build up steam. With support on his shoulder the visitors were immediately into the Chob red zone before spilling, but a high tackle was adjudged and Esher had the penalty and a line on the home 25.
Good pressure in midfield caused a handling error and Teo poached it with Andy making ground and then Akin making it to the Esher 5 where Chob won a penalty. Opting for the quick tap a couple of surges ended with Chob being held up a fraction short and Esher had a scrum to release the pressure.
Esher worked their way upfield until a combination of attacking close to the breakdown before releasing the centre into a backtracking defensive line brought their second try and a 10-0 lead.
It was 17-0 very soon afterwards as the restart didn’t go 10 and a scrum provided the platform for the visiting left wing to round the defence and give an easy conversion.
With some stern words from the coaches the boys reacted in fine style, by taking the game to their opposition and showing they too could carry hard in traffic. The breakthrough came as SamO cut right against the drifting defence putting Rhys into space in the tramlines. He was held but Saxon was looping at pace and had the gas to go over and make the half-time score 5-17.
Early in the second half Chob kept up the pressure as early tackles stopped Esher from making ground. An attacking scrum and the wings combining down the short side got Lewis close the line. Harvey was on hand to pick up and blast through the defence wide in the corner, in similar fashion to the game in Ireland the previous week.
The lead was down to 7 points now and Chob went in search of a third score. Unfortunately a loose pass in midfield was hacked on by Esher and Chob were backtracking at pace and conceded a penalty near their line. A quick tap allowed Esher to go over and extend the lead to 24-10.
The lead meant Chob had to play a higher risk game and Esher were able to pounce and create another attack of their own. A penalty lead to another attacking line and this time the front peel was enough for Esher to score their fifth try and the lead was 29-10.
Unbowed, Chob did their best to cross again, leading to the occasional ‘squabble’ but the Esher defence held firm. With the final play of the game Teo tried a quick tap, with Esher being caught not 10. Another tap went to Harrison but he was held just short and the final score remained 29-10.
Big thanks go to the boys who took turns to help Esher to play with a full 15 rather than playing one short.
Squad:SamA, Lewis, MattW, Akin, Andy, Rhys, SamO, Billy, Ben, Alfie, Max, Harvey, Saxon, Teo, Harrison, Finn, Hugh, Joe, TomH.
Next up the A squad took on London Irish, a side they hadn’t played since the days of mini rugby. With the game being a ‘friendly‘, some of the boys from the Bs match bolstered the bench and looked to show the strength in depth through the age group.
With Chob kicking off it was the defensive side of the game that was on show first. Irish were pinned back in their half as the tackles found their mark. Irish in turn showed good ball retention before conceding a scrum just in their own half. With the roles reversed the game was remarkably familiar as Irish in turn defended well as Chob probed for a gap before finally being penalised at a ruck. An Irish crosskick was kept in by Harry as he scooped it underarm in field just as he was about to step into touch. Chob now had the territorial advantage but couldn’t manufacture a clean break as a half break from Fin in midfield and then MattN were brought down by the boys in green.
Penalties were exchanged as Chob kept Irish in their own half for the most part until almost half-time. Chris made a break from fly-half, his shirt stretching to a pale blue as his opposite number just had enough to keep hold. Ruck ball was kicked to the corner from where Irish punted it back into midfield. Gideon was prowling and saw plenty of space to the left. A wide pass to Tommy was enough to open the scoring, Chris adding the extras for a 7-0 lead just before half-time.
Maybe Chob switched off slightly as Irish piled forward to win a penalty and kick to the corner. With lineouts being uncontested it gives plenty of scope to set up a drive which Irish duly did to good effect, winning a penalty. The drive this time was successful and Irish levelled at 7-7 on the whistle.
Starting the second half with a deep kick Chob were immediately on the back foot in the left corner. A series of drives from the visiting forwards were repelled before they were held up over the line and had a 5 yard scrum. Chob were penalised for wheeling and Irish went for the lineout once more. Another well-drilled routine was enough for them to take the lead for the first time at 12-7.
Irish were a bit haphazard under the restart and allowed the ball to bounce before gathering under pressure and then conceding a scrum from a forward pass. This time it was the Chob set piece that was in control as they got a nudge on putting the defence on their heels. Gideon gathered and with a quick shimmy was home free to score out wide as the full-back tried to get across to him. It was back to level at 12-12.
Chob kept up the pressure and looked the most likely to break the deadlock, first from a lineout drive of their own and then using a couple of clever kicks to turn the Irish wingers, Adam being inches away from gathering the bouncing ball with the line at his mercy.
Irish were able to keep Chob out however and with around 5 minutes to go won a penalty and cleared to halfway. Looking to use the backs Fin and Tommy were up quickly and created the turnover. Fast hands left where the Irish backs had come in tight at the ruck meant Connor was able to use his pace and loop round to retake the lead at 17-12.
With a slender 5 point lead any Irish score could have given them an opportunity to snatch the victory at the death. Digging deep they were able to put Chob back in their 25 following a penalty as the ref called last play. The drive was held 5 yards out and Irish looked to work across field through the hands. The home side once more were stronger in the wider channels and Irish spilled the ball before it was hacked into touch to confirm the narrow 5 point victory to Chobham.
Both games proved to be excellent work outs before their Surry Cup matches at Weybridge Vandals on 22ndApril, the Bs having another fixture against an A squad in the Chairman’s Cup at 11:30, this time from Guildford before the As take on Dorking in the Presidents Cup final at 2:30.
Squad:Aran, Adam, Reece, Fin, Harry, Chris, Gideon, Billy, Charlie, Oli, Callum, Al, Connor, TommyP, MattN, Doug, Harrison, Ben, Akin, MattW.
Match Report: Doug Mayger
Photographs: David Newton
This Sunday 22nd April Chobham Under 15 A and B squads are playing in the Surrey Cup finals day at Weybridge Vandals. The Bs play Guildford A in the Chairman’s Cup at 11:30 before the As take on Dorking in the President’s Cup final at 2:30. All are welcome. Come along and support the lads and be their 16th man.
It may sound a bit early as we’ve just come back from the 2018 Minis tour but as the wonderful age group manager for the U9s ( Steve ) reminded this age group, it’s our job to fund raise for next year. One of the U9 coaches ( Dave Fellowes-Freeman ) is running the London marathon in a few weeks for Orchid, a male cancer charity ( you may have seen the blue collection buckets with mini tour and orchid logo at the bar ). As part of his fundraising he’s doing a blind auction for a 50th anniversary Chobham top signed by the first team ( thanks to Malcolm and Tony for sorting ) and a four ball at Burhill golf course. Anyone interested should send bids to Dave ( 07795 207851 ) by 7th April stating name, bid and for which prize. All proceeds will be split 50/50 between Orchid and the 2019 minis tour. Winners will be announced on Chobham Facebook page on 8th April! Dave also has a just giving page, his target time is 3hr 30mins…. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/davefellowes-freeman
Chobham member Simon Greenhill will be holding an incredible west end musical concert at All Saints Church, Woking on Friday 18th May, to celebrate the Legacy of Lewis, beloved family member who unexpectedly passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition 20 years ago. Simon’s family have been great supporters of CRY ( Cardiac Risk in the Young ) and are asking for your support. Tickets are modestly priced at £20 each and we would love to see the venue full to the rafters. Tickets are limited and are going very fast, so please email email@example.com or call Ray Wilson on 07831 578490 to reserve your tickets.
The evening will consist of leading men and women of London’s West End performing hits from our best loved musicals with a few surprises thrown in. There will be a Rugby theme with lots of raffle and auction prizes donated by Saracens, Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins, and St. Austell Brewery and The Sporting Wine Club have donated a few barrels and bottles between them to keep everyone nicely refreshed.
The money raised on the evening will be used to fund a weekend of heart screenings for juniors at Chobham Rugby Club on 12/13th January 2019. Each screening costs £50 each and we will be screening 100 people at a full cost of £10,000.
Match Report from Doug Mayger:
Sunday 25th March saw the Under 15s host Wimbledon As in a delayed Harlequins Cup pool match and Reeds Bs in a friendly fixture.
First up were the As who were trying to secure top spot in their group with a win, to see how Surrey would organise the knock-out stages from 5 pools.
Wimbledon kicked off and a good set was the platform for a deep kick into Wimbledon territory. With a bit of aerial ping pong Chob were able to get their short passing game moving nice and early to pin Wimbledon in their half. Unfortunately some loose play conceded possession and Wimbledon kicked back with interest to earn a scrum on the home 25.
From the scrum Wimbledon tried to play expansively but midfield pressure forced the handling error, and Adam pounced on the loose ball, offloading to Fin as he was scragged. Doug then hacked downfield and the Dons were under the cosh once more with Chob having a lineout well inside the 25. A good set and driving maul went close before Billy was bundled into touch a couple of yards short. A penalty relieved the pressure and Wimbledon set about building some momentum themselves. A series of penalties against Chob took play right into the home 25 when another attacking move was stifled by aggressive line speed as the Wimbledon handling wasn’t quite on the mark. The loss of hooker Charlie to injury meant a positional shuffle as Callum stepped up to the middle of the front row.
Chob continued to have the slight edge on territory but couldn’t create any clear chances as Wimbledon defended manfully. The home side’s best chance came from a penalty in the Dons 25. Rhys had returned a clearing kick to fullback giving the forwards a target to push Wimbledon back and go offside at the ruck. A simple tap to Reece who blasted a hole in the first up defence before Callum was held up over the line and Wimbledon were able to clear from the resulting scrum.
As the first half started to wind down Wimbledon were pinged and a good line kick set up another throw 10 yards out. Harrison, now in at hooker found MattN and the forwards shaped to drive before letting the backs have a go. A well-rehearsed move with Gideon looping Chris at 10 before a wide miss pass out to Tommy created a space. With Tommy getting the offload away as he was brought down Saxon had enough space to drive for the line and have the momentum to reach out for the line as the covering fullback made a last ditch challenge.
Wimbledon had one brief chance to hit back before the whistle with the No.8 having a gallop from the base of a scrum but the defence held firm and went into the break with a 5-0 lead.
Wimbledon were now playing towards the houses and had the breeze at their backs but it was the home side that opened the stronger. The forwards held up a maul in Wimbledon territory and from the scrum a little ‘show and go’ from Chris got him behind the back line. Tommy was alert to the break and took a short pass to beat the final winger and round the fifteen for the second try which was converted for a 12 point lead within a couple of minutes of the restart.
With a two score advantage Chobham were able to play calmly while Wimbledon had to play the higher risk strategy and chase the game. Chobham held them relatively comfortably as the visitors had a spell with the majority of possession but didn’t really look like breaking their duck. Chob kept Wimbledon pinned back forcing them to kick away possession. One penalty clearance was kept in on the wing by Harry leaping salmon-like to palm it backwards but unfortunately when it was gathered Wimbledon were able to force Chob to brush the touchline. When Chob did have possession they worked the ball well around the fringes and made very few handling errors. The Wimbledon 8 was their main ball carrier but his gains were limited and Chob were able to turn the ball over a couple of times at the ruck and also hold up the Wimbledon maul.
A Wimbledon scrum on halfway came out loose on the blind side and Connor at 6 was first to react. With a deft pick up he was into his stride down the touch line. The defence made the tackle 5 yards out but the pack were in support and won quick ball. There was a big overlap to the left but a high pass meant Chris had to check at 10. Undeterred he danced back towards the forwards and somehow found space to wriggle through and score the decisive try with the lead at 17-0.
With a couple of minutes to play Wimbledon continued to fight hard for what would be a consolation try but the blue wall held firm and they were pinned in their own 25. Chob’s front foot defence forced a turnover and Connor was on the ball again getting to within a couple of yards before Wimbledon conceded a penalty. A quick tap took the ball almost to the base of the left hand post before Callum had a dart to within a couple of feet. Dan then had his hands on the ball and was able to drive nice and low to get under the guard and score the bonus point try with the last play of the game. The conversion made it 24-0 and guaranteed top spot in the group with three wins from three.
Squad: Rhys, Adam, TommyP, Fin, Harry, Chris, Gideon, DanM, Charlie, Billy, MattN, Callum, Connor, Doug, Reece, Saxon, Harrison.
It was now the turn of the Bs to see what they could do against near rivals Reeds with a last game before the age group tour to Dublin in a couple of weeks.
The home side started brightly enough but a penalty gave Reeds the chance to hoof it downfield. They secured the line out and after four or five rucks were held up the line was breached and Reeds opened the scoring with a 7-0 lead.
Chob steadied the ship and looked too play themselves back in the game. Andy made a break up the right wing but was just held on to before he could cut free for the line. The play was broken up by a number of penalties at the breakdown against both sides before Reeds turned the ball over at a ruck and made a break through the Chob midfield. The covering tackle was made but the Reeds support was on hand to take the offload and double the lead to 14 unanswered points.
A spilled restart gave Chob good field position immediately, and they were able to keep the pressure on as Reeds clearance missed touch and was gathered by Chob inn the attacking half. The home side worked down to the Reeds 25 where they were awarded a scrum. MattW made a break through the centres and TommyW was on hand to finish off the move to get the Bs on the scoreboard just before half-time with Sam A adding the conversion. The boys weren’t finished yet as first Andy and then Alfie carried hard into the Reeds defence. a quick tap penalty came left and reached Rhys who beat what looked like the entire Reeds backline and sprinted away to score, leaving two Reeds players injured having collided with each other. Big thanks here go to Hugh and later to Max who agreed to play for Reeds to keep them with a full complement of players.
Having now closed the gap to just two points, at 12-14, Chob had their tails up. They kept Reeds on the back foot and having a half chance themselves as Harvey carried to within 5. Reeds were able to clear their lines but quickly conceded a penalty which was drilled back to within 15 yards of their line.
A safe catch got the forwards on the march and when they got to within a couple of yards out Harrison went for the line. He was held up just short but Saxon was able to go all the way and put Chob in the lead for the first time in the match at 17-14.
So now Reeds had to try and come back having had a two try lead earlier in the match. They tried, but the Chobham defence was pretty firm and the forwards were able to punch holes around the ruck and keep the visitors away from the home line. With time almost up there was confusion in the Chob ranks when they elected to run from deep rather than kick clear and Reeds were awarded a penalty. Opting to keep the ball in hand they went down the line but a loose pass under pressure was grabbed by Ben and Chob were able to see out the clock for a narrow but well-earned 17-14 victory, very like the first meeting between the sides before Christmas.
Squad: DanP, Lewis, MattW, TommyW, Andy, Danny, SamO, Joe, Ben, Alfie, Harvey, Max, Teo, Harrison, Hugh, SamA, Callum, Saxon, Billy.
Match Report: Doug Mayger
Photographs: David Newton