Senior results – Saturday 9th January

London Welsh Druids 17 – 7 Chobham 1st XV

It was fantastic to welcome in the New Year with a great match at the historic Old Deer Park rugby ground. Following the disappointment of losing the last match of 2021, and the enforced break from the league this weekend, it was important to offer the Chobham senior players a chance of a run out. Thanks then to our dedicated fixtures team (Nigel Rowlands!) and to London Welsh for the offer of a match. It is great credit to Chobham RFC that an unprecedented mid-season friendly elicited over 40 players looking to play – ensuring we committed to not one, but two senior matches (with the |Mighty Cannons taking on Warlingham).

 

At Old Deer Park the 1st XV took on London Welsh 2s. Covid (of course!) wreaked havoc on selection with late Friday and Saturday morning changes required. Some might look at a mixed group, late selected and managing multiple positional changes and think that this may preclude a poor afternoon – but Head Coach Billy Davison was happy to report that the opposite was true. The (only) 16 players charged with representing Scarlet & Golds were fantastic! The players responded superbly; not only to the call to focus on what they love about the sport, but also to respect the opportunity to play on a ground steeped in rugby history. Even the playing of “The Green, Green Grass of Home” over the stadium tannoy did not put off the team!

 

In many ways the team produced one of the best and most committed starts to a game seen all season. Charged with having to repel multiple London Welsh attacks, the Chobham defence remained resolute. Those of us lucky enough to attend were treated to a wonderful afternoon of close, competitive and positive rugby. This was certainly borne out in the possession and territory stats of the first half. With no score registered by either team in the first 25mins it was certainly evident that we were in for an afternoon to remember.

 

The home team finally scored first (and second) to finish the half just 10-0 ahead. A little more pass accuracy would have certainly seen the visitors challenge even further. To share the half-term break with the Chobham 1st XV was to enjoy being part of team buzzing from a great first half; and ready to attack again. A strong scrum, consistent lineout and committed defending were all in evidence.

 

With two enforced team changes it was down to match-day coach Robbie Kennard to fetch his boots and jersey from the clubhouse and join the fray! Belief, confidence and sustained pressure saw Chobham cross the line, and convert the try: 10-7. The second half proved as entertaining as the first and with only last ditch tackling on the try line preventing further Chobham scoring more, it was always going to be tight. In the end the hosts scored a deserved try late on to finish the game 17-7. A chance then to enjoy a pint in the fantastic old clubhouse, and to celebrate the players of the day (to the back drop of “Delilah”!). Chobham Player of the Day (chosen by London Welsh) – Aran Parsons. All the players involved can be proud of their efforts – special mention to the ever-improving Sam Goddard and to Harrison Jones: a teenager whose efforts in support of his team-mates was extraordinary. Well done all!

 

Chobham Cannons 19-24 Warlingham 2s 

The Cannons took on Warlingham 2s in the torrential rain making flowing rugby rather difficult. Warlingham saw most of the possession in the opening 20 minutes of the game but the defence stood up well to the barrage of runners with Robbie Brown and Simon Rumsey fronting up. However it was first blood Warlingham before Chobham replied through TJ  Sims just before the break, going through multiple phases in tricky conditions. The second half ebbed and flowed between the sides with another try for TJ Sims and a try for Pat Watts, however the Cannons were punished for over playing in the wrong parts of the pitch. Although not the start to 2022 the Cannons would have liked, there’s a lot to be proud of and a performance we can certainly build on.

Chobham Brought back to Earth

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.

 

Game Changers:

Josh Macco; Euan Buckland; Sean Bellion.

 

International rugby comes to Fowlers Wells

Last Thursday evening Chobham hosted Belgrano Athletic Club U18s from Argentina. This is the former club of Fed so it was only fitting that Teo, his son, wore the captain’s armband for the fixture.

 

      

Belgrano looked well drilled and competent in the warm-up so the home lads would have to be at their best to keep themselves in the game. Belgrano played uphill in the first half and Chob were obviously taking things seriously, driving into the visitor’s half before conceding a scrum around the 25. Belgrano kicked for territory with a good chase and won the ball back only to concede a scrum themselves.

 

The opening spell demonstrated that Belgrano train regularly as a team and had a number of attacking options up front and in the backs. Chob however were able to resist these attacks with Fin winning a turnover in the tackle to allow Chob to kick back into the Belgrano half. The visitors were able to keep Chob out of their 25 however and worked their way back up field, eventually earning a scrum in the Chob red zone. Belgrano won the scrum, despite pressure from the Chobham pack and executed a neat miss and loop move in midfield. This first attack was held up in typical Chobham fashion but the visiting forwards had enough momentum from the attack to squirm over and with the conversion took a 7-0 lead after 20 minutes.

 

The restart was kind to Belgrano as they allowed the kick to bounce but it sat nicely as Chobham attacked. A kick back into midfield was returned but Chob were pinged for not retreating. Another penalty quickly had Chobham defending a lineout deep in their own 25 once more. This time it was the visiting pack who kept the ball through several phases as Chob defended around the breakdown. The whitewash was breached in the end almost under the posts and it was a 14-0 lead.

 

Belgrano continued to have the possession and territory advantage but the blue line held firm and forced a couple of turnovers and penalties to keep the half-time score to 14-0.

 

 

Chob now had to work up the slope, but a kick-off into space put Belgrano under pressure and a charge down from Ronan pinned them back near their own line. They couldn’t exit their exit strategy and Chob opted for an attacking scrum at a penalty on the right hand side. With a solid platform Cooper made a break from 8 and Ewen was on his shoulder for a neat offload and darted through a gap to peg the score back to 14-5.

 

 

Belgrano hit back and it was Chobham who were stuck in their 25 for a spell. The defending in the second half matched that of the first and when Belgrano finally had an opening they were brought down just short and penalised for a double movement. Chobham cleared and had a lineout 25 yards out.

 

This has been area where work is needed and Belgrano pinched this one. Unfortunately, it came to easily the biggest guy on the park who crashed down to within 5 yards of glory. His team mates are obviously used to this and were right behind him to recycle and restore the 14-point advantage.

 

Both sides continued to play some good rugby, entertaining the home crowd who had turned out on a chilly night, but the defences had the upper hand. To enable all the lads to get plenty of game time some new positions were tried and Jack popped up in the centres to good effect, making ground for the team to pour in behind. For the home side Lewis went off injured during this period with what was later confirmed as a broken arm.

 

A Belgrano attack down the right hand touchline brought a loud ‘ooh’ from the crowd as George cut his opposite man in half at the tackle and earned a penalty in the process.

 

The home side couldn’t capitalise on the penalty and a couple of free kicks taken quickly had Belgrano back in the danger zone once more. From a 5 yard scrum they had enough room to squeeze over by the corner flag to extend the lead to 24-5.

 

With time almost up Chob forced a scrum at the restart in good position. Again the pack did their job and Aran sprinted through a gap on the short side to double the home try count and make the final score 10-24 to the visitors.

 

A game played in great spirit with both squads mixing up on the whistle for the post-match photographs and mixing in the bar where the Chobham’s grasp of Spanish was soundly put to bed by Belgrano’s English.

 

 

Squad Aran, Lewis, Keaton, Fin, HarryC, Ronan, Ewen, Dan, Charlie, Billy, JackPen, Matt, HenryH, Teo, Cooper, Calum, Callum, Harvey, JackP, Finn, Max, Oliver, George, HarryB, Sam, Leonard.

Chobham 1XV vs Old Emanuels

Chobham 12 -v- Old Emanuels 10 

 

Chobham battled Storm Dennis as well as Old Emanuel on Saturday. We fronted up in terrible conditions and certainly deserved the victory. I was particularly proud with the way the boys adapted to the conditions. Tries came through Sam Davies and Euan Buckland. We picked up a few knocks in the process but are certainly looking forward to the challenges that Twickenham and Cranleighans will offer. 

 

We have won 6 in 6 and the boys have played some good football throughout. There is still lots more to come from this group as we continue to build.

 

I’d also like to wish Finn Robjohn all the best with his travels for the next few months and we look forward to seeing him back next season!

 

Cannons vs Old Haileyburians

The Cannons hosted Old Haileyburians RFC at Fowler’s Wells for not only the reverse league fixture but also the semi final of their knock out competition giving added weight to the result. With changes in personnel for both sides and the added challenges Storm Dennis brought with it meant that it was always going to be a much tougher test than the previous one-sided affair. 

 

The visitors kicked off into the wind and the Cannons quickly realised that possession would be key as the ball could not be gathered at first attempt. Old Haileyburians had some large ball carriers but the home side’s defence repelled their efforts time and again, before forcing the turn over and using the elements to clear to touch. The Cannons’ set piece was again dominate at scrum time and more than held its own at lineouts as Lol Perkins threw in accurately despite the blustery conditions. The home side opened the scoring from the tee as Steven Ball knocked over a penalty after the visitors didn’t release in the tackle. Chobham were not able to kick on though as the penalty count swung in the oppositions favour with the ruck being the source of many transgressions, allowing the visitors to progress upfield and alleviate pressure. Once the home side had reset mentally however and resorted to their game plan that had worked so well all season they gradually came back into the game. Strong carries from Sean Bellion, Tim Woods and Ben Puttock made inroads up the pitch and eventually earned a penalty. Having seen both sides’ kickers miss at the not-so-uprights a scrum was called and Adam Peever glided through the gap between 10 and 12 for the first five pointer of the afternoon. No further scores could be added before the break as the Cannons went in at half time with the scoreboard reading 8 – 0. 

 

The second half saw a fast start from Old Haileyburians and they soon found themselves in the Cannons’ 22. Although repeated waves of attacked were forced back, the visitors eventually made it over to open their account for the afternoon. With Cannons debutant Paddy Mooney and Chobham new recruit Jordan Lucas now in the back row the home side put pressure on the opposition’s handling and repeatedly forced errors from them. From one breakdown turn over the Cannons’ backline trusted their own passing skills and Alex Julian was released down the right hand touchline to score under the posts. With Peever adding the extras the home side extended the lead, turning it into a two score lead at 15-5. Old Haileyburians were not going to go into their shells however and kept attacking the Cannons. A pivotal moment came with a scrum five metres out from the try line after a clever kick upfield. The pack held firm and the OHs number eight couldn’t make the line. Disciplined defence kept the visitors at bay until a crucial tip in the tackle allowed the Cannons to clear their 22. From the resulting lineout Adam Pickett turned over the ball and after a strong run from Nieem Khan and interplay with Peever, Julian went over for his second, and the team’s third, try of the day. 

 

The Cannons struck again soon after to secure the bonus point win with a well worked move from a scrum seeing Peever match Julian’s brace for the afternoon. Final score 25 – 5.

 

Chobham remain top of the Surrey Championship table and now take their place in the final if the Surrey Reserve Cup where they will play either, next weekend’s opponents, KCS Old Boys or Old Reigatians. 

 

Man of the match: Adam Peever

 

Players’ player: Ben Puttock

 

More Points Totted Up for Chobham

Chobham 28-16 Tottonians

 

Following a lunch raising funds for our own Mixed Ability team, the Surrey Chargers who are off to Cork, Eire, in June for the IMART World Cup, Chobham (sponsored by Bray Wealth Management and local restaurant Rosso Mazarra) hosted Tottonians from Southampton. Billy Davison and his coaches (sponsored by Reflex & Relax and Robbings Motors) took a very confident team onto the paddock following 4 back to back wins and the news that the Cannons had won away at Rosslyn Park coming back from a 12-0 deficit at half time to win 28-12 added to the celebrations. The home win for the Firsts let them jump from 9th to 7th place in London 2 South West.

 

Chobham celebrated two important milestones for 1st XV players, Josh Devitt played his 100th game and on the opposite wing Liam Monaghan (Sponsored by Timberline Partnerships LLP) his 200th for the premier team of the club. Chob also welcomed Ed Wynne (Sponsored by Chobham Wealth Management) and Chris Kent (Sponsored by Active8)  back from injury, as well as a debut in the 1st XV for hooker TJ Simms.

 

From the kick off Chob took the game to Totts and camped in their half, the game plan worked well and the visitors defence was continually protecting their line. Nathan Spratt and Chris Kent carried well and with Ollie Smith breaking the line meant Totts pack were busy. On the quarter hour after a number of rucks on the Totts line Ollie Smith dived over the top of a ruck to open the scoring for the hosts, with John Rumsey (Sponsored by XVSport), converted to give Chob a 7-point lead. For the second week the crunching tackles from Captain Phil Williams and centre partner Tommy Reed brought much joy from the crowd.

 

From the restart Totts took the game to Chob but could get no foothold on the game. With 20 mins gone the visitors took advantage of a Chob knock-on on the halfway and Searle popped back inside to Totts No.8 Rogers who ran the length of the field to score under the posts and give Searle an easy conversion – all square again. Sadly, Chob lost Fin Robjohn to injury and Sam Davies (Sponsored by Chobham Wealth Management) came on. Chob used Jerry Rumball and Kent well in the lineout to secure possession.

 

These two teams had little difference between them, but the hosts looked that little bit better. Phase after phase the mobile Chob back row bullocked at Totts, but the reliant defence made for a great game for the rugby aficionado to watch. Justin Rowland is back to his best and was a constant thorn to Totts, his resolute defence was tireless.

 

25 minutes into the game Sims made his debut for an injured Pete McCain (Sponsored by Route One Solutions) at hooker and saw Leon Nell  (Sponsored by Chobham Under 16s) go to prop. A great line break just after the half hour by Devitt took Chob deep into the Totts 22. After multiple penalties Chob went for the scrum, this set up a platform for Smith to get his second try and Rumsey the conversion. With little difference between the teams, aprt for the dominant Totts pack, the scored stayed 14-7 going into half time.

 

Chob made an enforced half time change with Euan Buckland (Sponsored by The Garibaldi, Knaphill) replacing Nathan Spratt in the second row, with no replacements left for the last 40 minutes the hosts had to hope that they would suffer nothing more. For the first 15 minutes of the half there was little difference until Davies saw a mismatch in defence and the light of foot fly half was against prop Burns and crossed the line for the first score of the half, Totts lost Burns through an injury in the tackle which then gave Chob dominance in the scrum for the rest of the game led by another 80 minute performance from Ed Wynne.

 

A few minutes later another great line break by Smith took Chob well into Totts 22, two long passes by Robbie Kennard (Sponsored by Past President Chris Whiting)  and Davies to the left set up Tommy Reed with the chance to skin the Totts winger and score under the posts – Davies conversion took Chob to a 26-7 lead and what the home crowd felt was an unassailable lead. Totts had not read the script and decided they wanted to spoil the day for the hosts and 10 minutes later misunderstanding at the back of ruck saw Totts collect a loose ball at the back of a ruck and scamper under the posts to score and Searle to add the extras, 26-14.

 

As with most of the game most of the action was taking place between the 22s, with Totts doing well to manage with their weakened scrum, in addition Chob were down to 14 mean after losing No.8 Smith through injury. With two minutes to go a sustained attack from Totts saw Dolbear release Durnin who broke two tackles for the final score of the game and salvage a bonus point, Chobham won 26-19.

 

After the game Billy Davison said “Well done to the Chobham teams – the 2s back on track with a fine performance away at Rosslyn Park and another win for the 1st team.

 

Credit to Tottonians who contributed to a tight and compelling match played in a strong and inconsistent wind. Pressure can come from many places and the new challenge of playing at home with high expectations brought with it a little nervousness. Add to that the desire to perform in honour of the two wings (Josh and Liam) celebrating their 100th and 200th match respectively, and it is understandable that Chobham could not hit the high-performance level of the previous week. Adversity was added to the mix with the loss of Finn, Pete, Nathan and Oli to injury and a nervy spell with fourteen players. Happy to report that the team proved to have the belief and desire to pull through against a strong opposition. A stronger composure, especially in game-management, will be required if Chobham are to continue their 2020 winning form. A welcome break weekend this week before entering the fray for the final push to secure Level 7 rugby for next season.”

 

Robbie Kennard said “We started really well on Saturday and pleasingly finished with another 5 points. Fair play to Totts who pushed us and rallied well in the last 20 minutes. It wasn’t perfect from us with lots of minor mistakes in our set-piece and handling out wide. What was pleasing was the squad being able to ‘win ugly’, something we haven’t done in a long time.

 

Massive congratulations to Monners and Devitt, huge milestones and great clubman who deserve their accolades.”

 

Team: Pete McCain, Leon Nell, Ed Wynne, Chris Kent, Nathan Spratt, Jerry Rumball, Justin Rowland, Oli Smith, Robbie Kennard, Fin Robjohn, Josh Devitt, Phil Williams (c), Tommy Reed, Liam Monaghan, John Rumsey.

 

Game Changers: TJ Sims, Euan Buckland, Samuel Davies.

 

Cannons vs Rosslyn Park

The Cannons travelling to Roehampton to play Rosslyn Park, and with a cancellation of fixture for one of the host’s other teams the game was moved to become a curtain raiser on their 4G pitch. 

 

Chobham were expecting a tough match against a skillful side if the return fixture taught them anything, but the benefits of the strong wind caught the visitors by surprise and allowed Park to have much of the possession and dominated territory in the opening 40 minutes. Fortunately the Cannons set piece alleviated pressure with turnovers in the lineout as Henry Hopkins picked off throws at the front, and the pack winning numerous balls against the head. Park kept coming however, and did eventually yet over in the corner. They soon added a second after a couple of penalties in quick succession saw Nieem Khan head off for a ten minute break.

 

 

Whilst down to 14 men the Chobham side pulled together and actually were unlucky not to open their own try-scoring account after a number of strong scrums in the opposition 22 ultimately went unpunished. As the sides turned around at half time the squad were still confident they could make inroads into the side. It did not take Khan long to make amends for his earlier indiscretion with a tight angle back against the flow from a scrum letting him go in untouched under the posts. Ciar Cox added the extra two points and Chobham were back to within a single score with less than five minutes played. Michael Lenton, back on the pitch at 9, having had a cameo on the flank at the beginning of the game upped the tempo and from one break down the touchline the Cannons had a great position on the pitch to attack again. Khan again showed his power to drive through would be tacklers and reach out to ground the ball over the line.

 

 

Another calmly slotted conversion saw the visitors take the lead for the first time in the match. Confidence was brimming by this point and another foray into Park’s 22, although turned over, saw the wind prevent the clearance from getting anywhere near the halfway line. Lol Perkins hit his target in the middle of the set piece and with the midfield defenders flummoxed by the holding lines of the different options Cox strolled in for the third five-pointer of the game for the Cannons. With 15 minutes left Park had to go down to 14 players as they could no longer safely compete at scrum time and so restarts resorted to uncontested displays. The forwards were not impressed and so took their anger out on the Park through a series of driving mauls from the lineout. The home side could not stop the inevitable and eventually Sean Bellion, making his debut for the Cannons this season, touched down for the bonus point try and put the match to bed. Cox stepped up for the hardest kick of the afternoon as if it was straight in front, to make it 100% from the tee for the afternoon. 

 

 

The result sees Chobham extend their lead at the top of the Surrey Championship, with second place Law Society not playing and KCS Old Boys losing to the Cannons next league opponents Old Haileyburians.  

 

Man of the Match and Players’ Player: Ciar Cox  

 

Mighty Chobham

Winchester 13 (5) – 25 (10) Chobham

 

Chobham, sponsored by Bray Wealth Management and local restaurant Rosso Mazarra, were for the second week on the road and travelled to Hampshire. Billy Davison took a very buoyant squad whose confidence is growing week on week. The coaches (sponsored by Reflex & Relax and Robbings Motors) had a number of issues with unavailability and injuries, the biggest concern was travelling with only a hooker front row replacement.

 

Chob welcomed Nathan Spratt back into the second row, as well a completely new bench of game changers with Ben Puttock (Sponsored by Heritage Locks), Euan Buckland (Sponsored by The Garibaldi, Knaphill)  and Sam Davies (Sponsored by Chobham Wealth Management) doing the job. Credit goes to Puttock who, due to logistic issues, did not get his call up until after 9:00pm on Friday evening.   

 

The teams were piped onto the pitch in honour of Burns, Chob kicked off and from the offset the much smaller visitors pack put the much bigger Winch pack to the dagger, the young front row looked much more experienced than their years. Leon Nells (Sponsored by Chobham Under 16s) line out throws were on target time and time again, giving Spratt and Justin Rowland an easy afternoon receiving the ball. Following an early high tackle after 5 minutes by the hosts Golding on Oli Smith, Fin Robjhn kicked just into the 22 for a lineout. Chob won it clearly and drove the maul for 20m for a Nell try to open the scoring.

 

The visitors continued to frustrate the host and Justin Rowlands and Jerry Rumball did a good job to negate the Winch talisman Golding. Winch didn’t have the ability to run through the Chob wall of defence and through frustration appeared to kick away territory time and time again, giving the back three of John Rumsey (Sponsored by XVSport), Josh Devitt and Liam Monaghan (Sponsored by Timberline Partnerships LLP) great pleasure at running back at the hosts.

 

The next 20 minutes saw a game mainly played in the middle of the pitch and resolute tackling from Chob kept the hosts out of the visitors’ half. The 40-odd travelling spectators revelled in the young Chob pack driving Winch off their own scrums, this put their scrum half under a lot of pressure that meant Robbie Kennard (Sponsored by Past President Chris Whiting) was like a jack Russell snapping away at his legs.

 

The penalty count seemed to higher than recent weeks and from an offside on the 22 Winch kicked for a 5m line out, a clean catch and drive set up multiple pick and go’s before the hosts hooker Juleff crossed the line, for fly half Tolan to convert and give the hosts a 7-5 lead. Chobs great line outs saw Spratt and Rowlands steal the hosts ball, a sustained period of pressure from Winch came of nothing when Smith ripped the ball in the tackle before being bundled into touch.

 

A cynical no armed shoulder barge by Pete McCains (Sponsored by Route One Solutions) on the hosts fly half Tolan, on the half way line, saw him spend 5 minutes in the sin bin after a yellow card. The challenge then came for the Chob pack as the move around at the scrum as hooker Charlie Head went to loose head and second row Nell to hooker, Head was then under huge pressure from Winch tight head Turner. While attacking the visitors’ line the hosts lost their man advantage with a high tackle on Smith by lock Wandless, unfortunately the referee identified his partner Rayner who trudged off to the sin bin. Chob went through the gears heading towards half time and saw the backs being used more, Tommy Reed and Rumsey had Winch on the back foot – following a dozen phases Devitt scored in the right corner on the half time, going into the break with a 10-7 led. Sadly, Devitt was injured, but Davies came on for the second half.

 

The second half carried on with a similar cadent as the first, Chobs strong defence throttled any attack the hosts threw at them. Sadly, with the temporary front row, the visitors gave another penalty and Tolan from the penalty was able to draw the hosts level. McCain was now back on the pitch following his sin bin, straight into the foray following multiple pick and goes on the Winch line McCain dropped over the line to open his score tally for the season and with Rumseys conversion the visitors went 7 points in the lead.

 

The teams were well matched, and Winch’s stars of Tolan and Hiscock made little impression against the visitors’ resolute defence. With McCain back on the pitch the young Chob pack totally dominated the set piece yet again. Smith’s line breaks featured again and brought as much cheer as the crunching tackling of Williams and Reed.

 

After turning over a scrum the hosts Winch gave Chob an easy pen for holding Kennard back, now in the Winch half the visitors played with openness and confidence and earned penalty after penalty. Buckland was now on for Head (with now at hooker) and gave some fresh legs to attack the hosts line. A quarter of the game was played between the 22s, showing how little difference between the teams and it was Chobs dominance of the set piece the difference in the game.

 

The Winch half backs, as the game went on, appeared to have run out of ideas and phases were taking them backwards. From an offside by Spratt on the Chob 22 in the middle of the pitch Tolan brought the hosts within 4 points of the visitors with a quarter of an hour to go. From the kick off Chob defended 5 minutes of sustained attack with Winch playing between their 10m and the half. The stalemate was broken when Rumsey intercepted a pass from Winch’s Forster to run over half the pitch to score and give the visitors a 22-13 lead.

 

From the kick off the hosts lost scrum half Mahwood when he took Rowlands out in the air, from this point Chob were totally in control and closed the game off. With a minute to go the Winch replacement Hill went over the top for a penalty to allow Rumsey to slot the final score of the game, finishing 25-13 to the visitors.

 

Winchester were before the turn around in the season the best team Chobham have played and even though the visitors were deserved winners, the hosts have been the toughest opposition since Christmas. Chobham have finally moved out of the relegation places.

 

Next week Chobham host Tottonians for what will be a celebratory game as Josh Devitt is destined to play his 100th game for the First XV and Liam Monaghan his 200th game, the club will also be hosting a Bottomless Prosecco charity fundraiser for the clubs Mixed Ability side, the Surrey Chargers, to support them as they will be travelling to Cork, Eire to play in the World Mixed Ability World Cup later in the year.

 

After the game coach Robbie Kennard said “A really good all-round performance from the lads today. We played with some real maturity and the try we scored before half-time had everything. What was most impressive was our defensive display led by skipper Phil Williams. Barring the single Winchester try, we closed them down, made our tackles and nullified any threats.


The most exciting thing about this group is how much more there is to come. Another big week ahead and a couple of the old timers in Monaghan and Devitt have some big milestones next week!”

 

1st XV Manager Harry Norman-Walker said “I am on cloud nine after this week’s performance, from 1 to 18 the boys took the game to Winchester and our defence was impenetrable. We had a few selection issues but were able to ride that wave and dominate the 80 minutes. The right team won on the day and Winchester were shown wanting for ideas by the end of the game.

 

I was disappointed that for the first time since Christmas silly unforced errors and indiscipline reappeared into our game – they would not have got on the scoreboard if we had played as we have recently.

 

Charlie Head had a stellar performance a stand prop and probably learnt a hell of a lot about the front row in those 4 scrums, as well as Hargan for another 80-minute performance.

 

Personally, I have to thank the travelling crowd of over 40, touch judge James Zeal, Mike Vandenburg for videoing the game; as well as he and Chairman Mark Fisher for enduring the bagpipes at the Burns Lunch.

 

We have got out of the relegation zone, but are taking one game at a time, a win next week could see us jump Totts and take us into the top half of the league. It will be a great day with Liam Monaghan and Josh Devitt celebrating 200 and 100 First XV appearances respectively.”

 

Team: Pete McCain; Charlie Head; Angus Hargan; Leon Nell; Nathan Spratt; Jerry Rumball; Justin Rowland; Oli Smith; Robbie Kennard; Fin Robjohn; Josh Devitt; Phil Williams (c); Tommy Reed; Liam Monaghan; John Rumsey.

 

Game Changers: Ben Puttock; Euan Buckland; Sam Davies.

 

Chobham Cannons vs Old Reigatians

For the third successive Saturday the Cannons hosted a league fixture with the final opponents in the trilogy of matches being Old Reigatians. The game earlier in the season saw only 8 points separate the two sides and this affair was to turn out to be another close one. 

 

Both sides tested each other early on but could not return from the opposition’s 22 with points. One Chobham attack down the right hand side was abruptly ended by an Old Reigatians hand and the referee took the decision to reduce the visitors to 14 men. Unfortunately the ball was turned over shortly after and much of the time with a man advantage was actually spent in the Cannons own half. The physicality was rising with the opposition taking the direct route through their forwards. They thought they had broken the deadlock from close range only for Adam Peever to strip the ball when in the in-goal area. Chobham did find themselves fall behind shortly after however when Old Reigatians clinically returned a loose kick for a converted try under the posts. Although the home side were again playing against a side with a man in the bin just before half time nothing was to come from it and the score remained at 0-7 at half time.

 

The second half dished up more of the same with both sides knocking on the door but not troubling the scorekeepers. Chobham were beginning to come back into the match with some more positive carries in the midfield through the forwards and ever hungry Nieem Khan. In one such exchange Alex Gander twisted badly in the tackle with a nasty looking leg injury. This added to further injuries meant a re-jig of personnel. Although the home side kept pushing for their own opening score some ill discipline allowed the Old Reigatians’ centre pinned the Cannons into their own corner. Although Matt Bosworth was able to sack the resulting line out drive a few phases later the opposition prop burrowed over from close range. With time running out and a bonus point still achievable the away team capitalised on a mistake to gain a third converted try. The final whistle blew after the conversion for the game to finish 0-21 and see the Cannons lose at home for the first time this season. Although the result was disappointing there were some positive passages of play and hopefully Chobham can return to winning ways on the road against Rosslyn Park Nomads next weekend. 

 

Man of the match: Nieem Khan

Players’ player: TBC