Chobham 28-16 Tottonians
Following a lunch raising funds for our own Mixed Ability team, the Surrey Chargers who are off to Cork, Eire, in June for the IMART World Cup, Chobham (sponsored by Bray Wealth Management and local restaurant Rosso Mazarra) hosted Tottonians from Southampton. Billy Davison and his coaches (sponsored by Reflex & Relax and Robbings Motors) took a very confident team onto the paddock following 4 back to back wins and the news that the Cannons had won away at Rosslyn Park coming back from a 12-0 deficit at half time to win 28-12 added to the celebrations. The home win for the Firsts let them jump from 9th to 7th place in London 2 South West.
Chobham celebrated two important milestones for 1st XV players, Josh Devitt played his 100th game and on the opposite wing Liam Monaghan (Sponsored by Timberline Partnerships LLP) his 200th for the premier team of the club. Chob also welcomed Ed Wynne (Sponsored by Chobham Wealth Management) and Chris Kent (Sponsored by Active8) back from injury, as well as a debut in the 1st XV for hooker TJ Simms.
From the kick off Chob took the game to Totts and camped in their half, the game plan worked well and the visitors defence was continually protecting their line. Nathan Spratt and Chris Kent carried well and with Ollie Smith breaking the line meant Totts pack were busy. On the quarter hour after a number of rucks on the Totts line Ollie Smith dived over the top of a ruck to open the scoring for the hosts, with John Rumsey (Sponsored by XVSport), converted to give Chob a 7-point lead. For the second week the crunching tackles from Captain Phil Williams and centre partner Tommy Reed brought much joy from the crowd.
From the restart Totts took the game to Chob but could get no foothold on the game. With 20 mins gone the visitors took advantage of a Chob knock-on on the halfway and Searle popped back inside to Totts No.8 Rogers who ran the length of the field to score under the posts and give Searle an easy conversion – all square again. Sadly, Chob lost Fin Robjohn to injury and Sam Davies (Sponsored by Chobham Wealth Management) came on. Chob used Jerry Rumball and Kent well in the lineout to secure possession.
These two teams had little difference between them, but the hosts looked that little bit better. Phase after phase the mobile Chob back row bullocked at Totts, but the reliant defence made for a great game for the rugby aficionado to watch. Justin Rowland is back to his best and was a constant thorn to Totts, his resolute defence was tireless.
25 minutes into the game Sims made his debut for an injured Pete McCain (Sponsored by Route One Solutions) at hooker and saw Leon Nell (Sponsored by Chobham Under 16s) go to prop. A great line break just after the half hour by Devitt took Chob deep into the Totts 22. After multiple penalties Chob went for the scrum, this set up a platform for Smith to get his second try and Rumsey the conversion. With little difference between the teams, aprt for the dominant Totts pack, the scored stayed 14-7 going into half time.
Chob made an enforced half time change with Euan Buckland (Sponsored by The Garibaldi, Knaphill) replacing Nathan Spratt in the second row, with no replacements left for the last 40 minutes the hosts had to hope that they would suffer nothing more. For the first 15 minutes of the half there was little difference until Davies saw a mismatch in defence and the light of foot fly half was against prop Burns and crossed the line for the first score of the half, Totts lost Burns through an injury in the tackle which then gave Chob dominance in the scrum for the rest of the game led by another 80 minute performance from Ed Wynne.
A few minutes later another great line break by Smith took Chob well into Totts 22, two long passes by Robbie Kennard (Sponsored by Past President Chris Whiting) and Davies to the left set up Tommy Reed with the chance to skin the Totts winger and score under the posts – Davies conversion took Chob to a 26-7 lead and what the home crowd felt was an unassailable lead. Totts had not read the script and decided they wanted to spoil the day for the hosts and 10 minutes later misunderstanding at the back of ruck saw Totts collect a loose ball at the back of a ruck and scamper under the posts to score and Searle to add the extras, 26-14.
As with most of the game most of the action was taking place between the 22s, with Totts doing well to manage with their weakened scrum, in addition Chob were down to 14 mean after losing No.8 Smith through injury. With two minutes to go a sustained attack from Totts saw Dolbear release Durnin who broke two tackles for the final score of the game and salvage a bonus point, Chobham won 26-19.
After the game Billy Davison said “Well done to the Chobham teams – the 2s back on track with a fine performance away at Rosslyn Park and another win for the 1st team.
Credit to Tottonians who contributed to a tight and compelling match played in a strong and inconsistent wind. Pressure can come from many places and the new challenge of playing at home with high expectations brought with it a little nervousness. Add to that the desire to perform in honour of the two wings (Josh and Liam) celebrating their 100th and 200th match respectively, and it is understandable that Chobham could not hit the high-performance level of the previous week. Adversity was added to the mix with the loss of Finn, Pete, Nathan and Oli to injury and a nervy spell with fourteen players. Happy to report that the team proved to have the belief and desire to pull through against a strong opposition. A stronger composure, especially in game-management, will be required if Chobham are to continue their 2020 winning form. A welcome break weekend this week before entering the fray for the final push to secure Level 7 rugby for next season.”
Robbie Kennard said “We started really well on Saturday and pleasingly finished with another 5 points. Fair play to Totts who pushed us and rallied well in the last 20 minutes. It wasn’t perfect from us with lots of minor mistakes in our set-piece and handling out wide. What was pleasing was the squad being able to ‘win ugly’, something we haven’t done in a long time.
Massive congratulations to Monners and Devitt, huge milestones and great clubman who deserve their accolades.”
Team: Pete McCain, Leon Nell, Ed Wynne, Chris Kent, Nathan Spratt, Jerry Rumball, Justin Rowland, Oli Smith, Robbie Kennard, Fin Robjohn, Josh Devitt, Phil Williams (c), Tommy Reed, Liam Monaghan, John Rumsey.
Game Changers: TJ Sims, Euan Buckland, Samuel Davies.