Marlow 41-22 Chobham
Chobham travelled to Buckinghamshire on Saturday to play a team who’d lost both of their opening games, Marlows’ huge pack imitated the young Chobham team to a deserved first win of the season.
Robbie Kennards’ squad had 6 under 20, including two in the starting front row. Chobham saw the return of Sam Goddard and Angus Hargan, there were debuts for the 1st XV of three ex Chobham youth players, backs Riley Whittington, Joe Handley and Archie Gardiner. Robbie’s commitment to youth rugby is for all to see, 11 of the squad played youth rugby at Chobham and this is really inspiring for the future of Chobham.
From the kick off Marlow new boy Apisai Deucu had a huge impact on the game with his direct physical running approach. He showed his prowess 5 minutes from a post lineout ruck he bounced two tacklers to score a try. But huge credit had to go to Chobham youngsters Harvey Bowen and Elliott Bonner who held their own against a big experienced opposition front row. The visitors started to put pressure on and from a Marlow offside after 10 minutes Sam Davies slotted a penalty.
Deucu’s second try came straight off the top at a Chobham 5m defensive lineout and was exactly the same run as his first!! On the half hour captain Sam Goddard opened his account for the season came from a pick and go under the posts, Chobham have pressured the Marlow line for a number of phases and finally broke through. Marlow scored their third try again from a 5m lineout, this time going through the backs to see Matthew Saunders crossing the line after having taken advantage of poor tacking by the visitors. The last play of the half saw Marlow winger Charlie Cotton score in the right corner, they went in 20-10 up at half time.
The second half saw more of the same from Marlow, large trundeling forwards time and time again hitting up the ever retiring Chobham defence. Eventually back row Samuel Tuckerman broke the Chobham defence to score under the posts for a converted try. 10 minutes into the half the visitors went down to 14 men when Tommy Reed was sin binned for diving into a ruck, to compound the problem Chobham went down to 13 when Max Sambrook was binned for a high tackle. But Chobham following a 5m lineout scored straight away, Harrison Jones sniping run had taken the play 15m in and onto the home teams line, allowing Goddard to get his second converted try of the day.
With 10 minutes left the home teams Dean Whiteley received a long clearance kick on the halfway and ran it back down the left wing to score in the corner. Josh Sheppard moved into the back row for Chobham to cover injuries to the pack, he took advantage of this and at a 5m lineout and scored a try. The last play of the game saw Deucu pick up from a 22m ruck and run under the posts unopposed to score his hat-trick. A deserved Marlow won the game 41-22.
Head coach Robbie Kennard said after the game “A real learning point today. We went to Marlow with a very youthful and inexperienced group. Marlow were big and competitive, with a very talented 8, who took their chances well. We were error ridden though out the game and ultimately this had a huge effect on the result. I am immensely proud of the 6 Cobham U21 lads that played and it is laying the platform to what we want to do as a club; produce good quality youth players.
We are looking forward to a number of returning players over the next few weeks and we are in a good space!”
Forwards coach Chris Kent said “Firstly, some well deserved praise for our young players thus week, two senior season debutants playing a full 80 in the front row. The scrum was not a weakness in an error strewn game, and our lineout took another step forward in accuracy, and for that they should be proud and we should be excited. Whilst there are still improvements to be made at set piece, our issues sat firmly in defending big ball carriers in open play. We lacked conviction and bravery in our defence and must find a desire to be physically dominate and improve our connectivity in the week ahead.
Director of Rugby Harry Norman-Walker said “Marlow deservedly won on the day as they played to their strengths, but we have a lot of positives to take away and not least the performance of Harvey and Elliott in the front row. At times we fell of tackles and that is when our hosts hurt us, we will learn from this and move onwards and upwards.
It was great to see a team include 6 under 20s, it looks so good moving forward. Harrison Jones had a great man of the match game, but credit also to Josh Sheppard for his 80 minute performance. Nest week we hopefully see a few returning players for the visit of Aylesbury.”
Starters: Elliot Bonner; Harvey Bowen; Angus Hargan; Greg Holt; Chris Kent; Max Sambrook; Harrison Jones; Sam Goddard; Joe Head; Adam Peever; John Rumsey; Sam Davies; Josh Sheppard; Riley Whittington; Tommy Reed.
Replacements: Joe Handley; Jonny Boylett; Archie Gardiner.