Hammersmith & Fulham 2s 0 v 55 Chobham Women
Last Saturday saw the Chobham Women travel to Southwest London in their second league game of the season. Although only 16 players were available, the return of Harriet Walker, Esme Boylett, Mai Cote Davis and Ruby Cox into the side meant some much needed experience.
It was this experience which showed immediately from kick off, with the ball being immediately taken forward, strong carries and quick recycling finished with Walker breaking the line and offloading to Izzy Fisher coming in on the angle to touch down in the corner. Gina Lee converted and Chobham were ahead after only a couple of minutes.
The Chobham scrum, with 18 year old debutant Abbie Hatherall at Prop, was dominant all afternoon and quick ball through the hands saw Mel Ball break up the wing, she offloaded to Walker who scored. Unfortunately, Ball took a boot to the back of the head during the tackle. Emily Pratt moved into the back line and Ruby Cox came on at No 8. Chobham really got into their stride, with strong carries by the forwards before the ball was spun wide in the backs for 2 more tries before half time (Gina Lee and Maddy Healey) one of which was converted by Lee.
Chobham led at half time 0 – 24.
The second half started with Chobham down to 14 players, as Cox, returning from injury, had played her allotted time. With the scrum dominant, the coaches chose to leave Pratt in the backs and scrummage with 7 players. The second half was a repeat of the first, with Pratt relishing her role in the centres scoring two tries in quick succession. Hammersmith & Fulham’s inexperience began to show, on several occasions they were close to the try line, but there was no way through the Chobham defence, their line speed and tackling were immense and the Hammers had no response.
Walker scored again after breaking through the H&F defence, with this try converted by Lee, the score was 0 – 43. The coaches then removed Lauren Campbell from play as she was carrying an injury that they didn’t want exacerbated. This left Chobham with 13 players. They immediately won a scrum penalty with 6 players against 8!
Holes were now opening up in the tired Hammers defence and Chobham took full advantage, with Pratt scoring her hattrick (converted by Lee) and a not to be outdone, Walker touched down her third try in the final minute of the game. The final score was 0 – 55.
Captain Izzy Fisher said afterwards “that was such an improvement on last week’s match against Wasps! We really gelled as a team and controlled the game, the forwards were strong and dominated the set piece, we won several of the H&F lineouts and the solid scrum gave Esme and the backs a great platform to play the running rugby which is what we do best. The defence was outstanding, there just wasn’t a way through for them.”
Player of the Match: Abby Hatherall