Chobham 50 – 32 Aylesbury
Chobham hosted Aylesbury in a twelve try thriller in front of a huge home crowd, the Scarlet & Golds came back from a poor opening 10 minutes to win the game through their backs.
This Saturday the Scarlet & Golds hosted Aylesbury, who sat 3rd in Regional 2 Thames, the boys knew that the task ahead of them meant performing better than the Marlow trip. The squad was stronger with the return of a number of more established players amongst the 9 changes from last weeks starting line up. Returning to the starting line up is prop Reece Finnerty, back rows George McPherson and Dan Benton, captain Guy Mawhood at scrum half, Joe Mousley on the wing, with back row Justin Rowland and Nieem Khan on the bench. Excitedly as well was a youth player debuting on the wing after his game for Welsh Exiles last week, 17 year old Noah Jenkins. Second row Bruce Stewart also made his debut for the 1st XV, he joined us last season and due to his job has not been available until now.
From the start the visitors took the game to Chobham and their large pack made the hosts have to work hard. But the early points went to Aylesbury through the boot of Davies following George McPherson dipping into the tackle on the 22. Aylesbury went into double figures on 10 minutes when their efficient lineout set up a number of phases before hooker crossed the line next to the posts for a converted try. The Chobham supporters thought they were watching a replay of last weeks loss at Marlow. The powerful visitors pack dominated Chobham for the opening quarter and it took a great performance from the Scarlet & Golds to stay in the game. A little relief came a quarter of an hour in when a high tackle just inside their own half allowed Sam Davies to open his account for the day with a 50m plus penalty.
Aylesburys lineout dominance continued and from a 5m quick ball and peel Olayinka went over for their second converted try. Chobhams first try came from a Chob line out that went wrong, in trying to exit Aylesbury didn’t clear and were turned over in the breakdown – great hands by Chobham saw the ball go from right to left and Josh Sheppard score in the corner. Two minutes later Sheppard let himself down and was yellow carded for being offside at a ruck and kicking the ball out. But this seemed to be the catalyst of the Chobham fight back, when down to 14 men they scored 2 tries!! The first was a converted try by Davies running the ball from within his own half and five minutes later a great penetrating run down the wing by Noah Jenkins set up the first of four rucks that saw Sam Goddard score a converted try.
Just before half time Buckland got his second try from an Aylesbury 5m lineout catch and drive. The Scarlet & Golds went in 24-22 up at half time, the relief of leading considering the total dominance of the visitors pack gave great positive attitude to the hosts. It was the visitors who opened the scoring in the second half following the backs running the ball into the left corner and rumbling second row Wehrle crossed the line to take them back into the lead. The next 10 minutes saw the Aylesbury pack dominate the scrum and Chobham neutralise it with their dominant backs.
10 minutes into the half the hosts were pressuring the Aylesbury line and gave away a penalty, from the quick tap Dan Benton crossed the line for a try. Now in the ascendance and a Aylesbury clearance was taken by Joe Mousley in the hosts own half and through the hands of John Rumsey passed to Mawhood who chipped through from the halfway and recovered his own ball running it under the posts for a converted try. Minutes later Olayinka saw a yellow card for a trip following a quick tap from his high tackle. Chobham then went the length of the field for one of the most comical tries in a long time. Having over turned a Chobham attack on the try line, Aylesbury decided to run it from behind their own lines, Davies scragged their 12 and as the visitors player popped the ball to his support Davies caught it and dropped down for his second try.
From the restart Chobhams debutant Bruce Stewart ran the ball back into the visitors 2 and popped it to Benton who ran it in for his second try. The last try of the game came from another dominant Aylesbury scrum, that set them up for multiple rucks that Chobham defended well, before finally giving a penalty way and Davies took the quick tap and scored. – the game ended with a convincing 50-32 win for the hosts.
Director of Rugby Harry Norman-Walker said after the game” today was probably our toughest game since Covid, Aylesbury’s pack was so dominant and their scrum was very powerful. They had a very well organised line out and it took some serious tactics for us to stay in the game and allow our stronger backs to control the game. In open play our packs were equal to each other.
I was so excited to see such a mature performance by Noah Jenkins and seeing him put their bullocking back row Olayinka on his bum was my highlight of the day.
Next week we travel to high flying Belsize Park and then on the 14th October we host top of the table Amersham & Chiltern, both weeks are going to really tough for us – but today has given us the confidence to front them up.”
Starting: Reece Finnerty; Harrison Jones; Angus Hargan; Bruce Stewart; Chris Kent; George McPherson; Sam Goddard; Dan Benton; Guy Mawhood; Adam Peever; Noah Jenkins; Sam Davies; Josh Sheppard; Joe Mousley; John Rumsey.
Replacements: Elliot Bonner; Justin Rowland; Nieem Khan.