Fun in the Sun at Hove – Hove 12 v 39 Chobham 1st XV
For the Chobham faithful who travelled to the coast on Saturday for the third weekend in a row of fantastic rugby, most of which this week came from the Scarlett & Golds. A totally dominating game from the visitors earned them a well-deserved win against top of table Hove.
The Chobham team saw 5 changes to the squad who faced Tiffs last week with the return of Chris Kent, Sam Thirlwell, Harrison Jones and Max Sambrook in the forwards as well as back John Rumsey. On paper the squad knew it was going to be a tough game, but with training this week have been of the highest quality Chobham came out firing from the kick off and Justin Rowland and Sam Goddard looked like they’d upped their tempo from the get-go.
Chobham held their shape and it was the visitors mistakes that meant it was 13 minutes before Sam Davies opened his account with a penalty from a Hove scrum offence. Two minutes later Goddard broke the gain line to set up a ruck, Guy Mawhood picked and went, stepping the Hove prop before wrong footing fullback Davies and scoring a converted try.
Break after break by Chobham collapsed only when they didn’t pass, or secure the ball at the tackle; thirteen times alone in the first half. The issues with the lineout from the previous week had been sorted out and the Chobham pack totally dominated at the scrum. With five minutes to go and following 6 good phases of play from a scrum just inside the Hove half Chris Kent scored another converted try under the posts. Chobham went in 17-0 up at half time.
Chobham came out in the second half with as much tempo as the first, the pressure told and 3 minutes in Davies took the opportunity to convert a penalty from a home team offence at the breakdown. A minute later a Hove goal line drop out was run straight back by the Scarlett & Golds, a well weighted kick by Tommy Reed was collected by Davies for another converted try.
A Max Sambrook try came from a catch and drive 5m out by Chobham from a well worked out lineout, earning the visitors the bonus point. Chobhams final score of the game came from a converted try by Man of the Match Mawhood, he picked from a 5m scrum going blind and unopposed to score.
With 10 minutes to go the Chobham game plan, shape and discipline stopped allowing the home team to score a brace in the closing minutes. The first was a hoof from a Chobham drop ball and a good chase by Patton saw him dribble it over for a converted try. This was followed a few minutes later by Hove’s strong running centre who crossed the chalk for a try.
On a day where the visitors from Surrey dominated the top of the table team, the score flattered the hosts – but you cannot take it away from Hove that they never gave up. Chobham won 39-12 on the day and are now sitting 4th in Counties 1 Surrey/Sussex.
Billy Davison, Chobhams Head Coach said afterwards “A sunny afternoon on the South Coast was thoroughly enjoyed by the Chobham 1st XV. In their 4th league encounter, there were certainly reasons to be cheerful. Performance level can be measured in many ways and in a good deal of metrics the group scored well. With a little more care and composure with the ball in hand the challenge laid for Hove would have been even more significant. If this growing group can consistently present and improve on a building positive team culture then the immediate future looks bright.”
Assistant Coach Robbie Kennard said “A really good afternoon from us. We got into shape nicely and played some good footy. The really exciting part is, if we actually execute in the wide channels, we could have scored a lot of points. We scored 39 points and coughed up possession 17 times.
Special mentions to the set piece and 1st phase attack, the platform was great and we were clinical with our attack.
We go again this week with even more players returning. We are in a good place and we must now kick on as a group if we are to reach our goals.”
Harry Norman-Walker said “This was by far our best performance of the season, we put into practise everything we’ve been working on the training ground. This week our set piece totally dominated and our backs were executing some great moves. With a little more discipline we would have had a far better score. Sadly, at the end we let Hove into the game.
We have now played all top three teams and sit 4th with a game in hand we really have showed we are title contenders if performance and fitness stay on our side. With at least another six squad players available again next week we are looking in a good place.”
Chobham RFC Director of Rugby