Old Tonbridgians 7 (7) – 36 (19) Chobham
All three teams at Chobham won for the second week in a row, the team spirit throughout is fantastic. The First XV, sponsored by Bray Wealth Management and local restaurant Rosso Mazarra, won for the third game in a row at Richmond Athletic Ground. Billy Davison and the coaches (sponsored by Reflex and Relax) played a clinical game and their defence was solid, frustrating Old Tonbridgians from start to finish. In the first half the hosts only made it into Chobs half twice.
Chob welcomed Josh Devitt back to the team and promotion the 1st XV for Charlie Head and Matt Bosman, Ciar Cox made a fantastic debut coming off the bench (another product of the Chob mini and junior section).
On a sunny afternoon OTs kicked off to Chob and despite the visitors unforced errors the hosts could not turn their advantage into points. Chob dominated the scrums all game and got three free kicks from the first three scrums, this was the pattern of the whole. With nearly 10 minutes Chob got a penalty from the scrum just inside the OTs half, No.8 Ollie Smith took a quick tap and broke to just outside the 22; Robbie Kennard (Sponsored by Past President Chris Whiting) popped to Angus Hargan and from the ensuing ruck Kennard broke the line and passed inside to Justin Rowlands; who popped to Leon Nell (Sponsored by Chobham Under 16s) at the tackle who was taken down just short of the line. From the ruck the ball went right to Charlie Head and then Devitt, who was again tackled just short of the line; Kennard then passed to outside half Fin Robjohn crossed the line and scored while being tackled 15 minutes in from the right touch. The backs may have got the score, but Pete McCains (Sponsored by Route One Solutions) work rate was awesome.
The next five minutes probably saw OTs best phase of play and from a line out 10 minutes out when their winger came into the line and scored, their fly half got the afters to give the hosts a 7-5 lead after a quarter of an hour. Chobham showed their stubbornness and happily played a tight game until the OTs defence were disorganised and released the backs to attack. This game plan saw Devitt nearly score, but to be thwarted by a great tackle on the line. OTs were not able to get out of there 22 and from a line out Chob multiple phases saw the back row put the hosts defence under pressure and Jerry Rumble was everywhere; the visitors saw Head, Hargan, and Kennard attempt to cross the chalk before Smith crossed the line and Robjohn got the conversion just after the half hour, Chob now led 12-7.
The visitors continued to dominate and 5 minutes later after a long darting run by Tommy Reed, another great OTs tackle then saw their loose head prop come into the ruck from the side and the ref had no choice but to yellow card him, with the packs confidence Robjohn kicked for a 5m lineout. Nell’s over throw was cleaned up by Hargan to set up an attacking platform which was thwarted by an OTs high tackle, this time Chob elected for a scrum which OTs disrupted following the drive – this correspondent felt that it should have been a Penalty Try and not another penalty. Following another penalty under the posts from the scrum Smiths pick and go saw him score for another converted try, Chob went into half time 19-7 up.
In the first half the salmon like Chris Kent (Sponsored by Active8) had cleaned up in the line out; the defence 1 to 15 had given OTs little opportunities, especially the aggressive tacking by captain Phil Williams and Reed in the centres. The back three of Devitt, Liam Monaghan (Sponsored by Timberline Partnerships LLP) and John Rumsey (Sponsored by XVSport) had excited the spectators whenever they joined the attack.
The second half started the same as the first finished with Chob scoring, Devitt scored in the left-hand corner for the bonus point try. chob then went through a 5-minute funny period where we lost the referee, we seemed to get some odd decisions, but through the Chob soul and defence it kept OTs pinned in their half. Finally, a grubber by Robjohn was followed up Reed who scored with another converted try – Chob now had a 24-point lead.
Chob now had all three Game Changers on with Bosworth on for Kent, Ed Wynne (Sponsored by Chobham Wealth Management) for Hargan and Cox for Monaghan. Cox’s tackle 2 metres out was a great try saving tackle early on for the debutant. Sadly, for Bosworth he was sent to the bin for joining the ruck with no bind. OTs only forays into the visitor’s half were from penalties that every time was stopped quickly.
The visitors were parked in OTs half and the second half’s game plan has throttled all the hosts attempt to get out of their half, as OTs tried to run the ball out from there 22 a missed place pass was snaffled up by Devitt who went over to score with 10 minutes left.
The last few minutes of the game saw OTs finally break into the Chob half, they finally had a period of attacking 10 metres out and were unable to penetrate the defence. Their champagne rugby was great to watch but did not have the organisation to finish anything. The last play of the half saw OTs attacking Chobs right wing, only for Williams well timed bone crunching tackle end up with a knock on for the hosts, game over and a 36-7 win for Chob.
After the game coach Robbie Kennard said “We started really well and played some good footie. We got a little excited at times and possibly weren’t as clinical as we should have or could have been. We scored some good tries and defended well right up to the last minute.
We have now laid a decent platform to build on, but I know this group have far higher expectations and ambitions. We look forward to a big week of training and the challenge that is Winchester next week.!”
1st XV Manager Harry Norman-Walker said “We have been on a journey this season and the spirit in training since the New Year really has transferred onto the pitch, I’m even more please that all three Chobham Senior teams have had back to back wins.
Today we got closer to our game plan and didn’t let ourselves get effected by the opposition. I am disappointed that following so many penalties, especially at the scrum, the referee did not give that many yellow cards out.
We still have work to do, but we are improving by those small percentages and improving across the board. I was particularly pleased to see Ciar Cox have such a great debut, as well as so many youngsters out on the paddock.”
Head coach Billy Davison said “Well done to all the Chobham teams for some strong performances and three wins at the weekend. Increased competition for places in the top teams and an impressive commitment to training is paying dividends. The first team players can be proud of securing their second bonus point win in as many weeks. An increased connection with the effort required to stop the opposition provided the foundation for an ambitious attack. Execution and finishing was under par but commitment to the cause overcame and Chobham ran out deserved winners.”
Team: Pete McCain; Charlie Head; Angus Hargan; Leon Nell; Chris Kent ; Jerry Rumball; Justin Rowland; Oli Smith; Robbie Kennard; Fin Robjohn; Josh Devitt; Phil Williams (c); Tommy Reed; Liam Monaghan; John Rumsey.
Game Changers: Ed Wynne; Matt Bosworth; Ciar Cox.