Chobham 26-27 Twickenham
Following a supporter’s lunch prior to the game for Friends of Chobham Rugby (FOCR’s), joined by ex-Harlequins and Scotland international Neil Edwards, Billy Davisons boys were brought back down to earth by old adversaries Twickenham. Sadly, during the game there was a delay for a serious injury to Twickenham’s winger Dan Rose and everyone at Chobham wishes him a speedy recovery. In a very close game the visitors walked away deserved winners as Chobham (sponsored by Bray Wealth Management and local restaurant Rosso Mazarra) did not play at the level that has been recently expected. The coaching teams’ disappointment was apparent, but this is no way a disaster and taking 2 points away from the game keeps Chob in the hunt for a top half finish this season.
Billy’s coaches (sponsored by Reflex & Relax and Robbings Motors) had made five changes from the team that won at Emanuels the previous week, there was return from injury for Captain Phil Williams and Ben Livingstone on the wing. Liam Monaghan (Sponsored by Timberline Partnerships LLP) returned to the other wing, with Sean Bellion (sponsored by Owen Shipp Commercial) back on the bench and a debut for Josh Macco, 18-year-old Josh is a product of our Juniors, he is currently in the Italy Under 18s team and part of Wasps Under 18s too – he is an exciting prospect for the future, and Chob appreciate Wasps letting him play for the rest of the season.
Over 100 supporters were at the FOCR’s lunch whose main aim is to offer support to Chobham Rugby’s “good causes” such as Player welfare, Rugby education, Rugby experience and Financial hardship (support for players where the direct cause of hardship is linked to their rugby career such as long-term injury). They are a group of individuals associated with the Club; the wider rugby community; or just people with an interest in rugby.
The sunny day was only marred by the strong windy conditions. From the kick off Twickenham took the game to Chob and after a sustained attack on the line finally wing Stock went over in the corner to give the visitors the lead.
Chobs dominant scrum was not rewarded all game and following 3 penalties at 5m scrums finally a pick and go at the back of the scrum saw Justin Rowlands go over after 20 mins and John Rumsey (Sponsored by XVSport), followed up with the conversion and give the hosts a narrow lead.
Twickenham had one of the largest set of backs Chob have faced this season and they really had to put a stellar defence on to keep them out, at the back Sam Davies (Sponsored by Chobham Wealth Management) tackling was on point. Just before the half hour centre Ash went over to give the visitors the lead again. Sadly, soon after winger Dan Rose sustained a serious ankle ankle dislocation and break and the game was delayed for 20 minutes while the medical teams from both sides got him off the pitch and in the warm to await an ambulance.
Just before half time Foster converted a penalty for the visitors to take them into the break 13-7 up, because of the long injury delay there was a quick turn around and the game restarted nearly straight away.
Following a break by Twickenham and a try saving tackle by Davies, and the ruck Monaghan came in at the side and was sent to the sin bin. Leon Nells (Sponsored by Chobham Under 16s) was making his 51st appearance for Chob and his line out throws in the adverse weather were hitting point.
While attacking the visitors line their fly half Foster was penalised and carded for not releasing at the tackle and giving Chob a man advantage for 10 minutes with an hour gone. With the advantage Livingstone found a gap and went over in the corner for his first premier team try and bring Chob within a point of the visitors. 4 minutes after the vast home crowd excitement reached a crescendo when Monaghan went over, and Rumsey added the afters to give Chob a 6 point lead and 10 minutes to go.
Very soon after Twickenham wing Stock got his second try and full back Goddard got the conversion to take the visitors back into the lead. With 2 minutes to go it seemed all over the hosts when sub Wattridge went under the posts and Foster now back on got the conversion to take the score to 27-19. The last minute went on a while as Chobham attacked the visitors’ line, eventually Euan Buckland (Sponsored by The Garibaldi, Knaphill) scored over the chalk and Rumsey converted for a 26-27 loss for Chobham.
Robbie Kennard after the game said “This was a bit of a wakeup call for us this weekend, we have some tough fixtures coming up and our physicality up front was well off the pace. Scrum time we were very dominant, but our line outs were disappointing.”
Head coach Billy Davison said “We were lucky to have got 2pts and we need to focus on detail, we need to up our game and the next 4 games are very important.”
1st XV Manager Harry Norman-Walker said “The boys need to take the pain of the loss into training this week and work towards next Saturdays game at Cranlieghans. We know we have the ability and this was just a hiccup. Also I’m really pleased for our 2nd XV who beat KCS 41-14 in the early kick off.”
Team: Angus Hargan; TJ Sims; Ed Wynne; Leon Nell; Chris Kent; Jerry Rumball; Nathan Spratt; Justin Rowland; John Rumsey; Robbie Kennard; Ben Livingstone; Phil Williams; Tommy Reed; Liam Monaghan; Samuel Davies.
Josh Macco; Euan Buckland; Sean Bellion.