Twickenham 25 – 21 Chobham
The heavens emptied at Twickenham RFC from kick off to final whistle as Chobham Rugby Club, sponsored by Bray Wealth Management, aimed for their second win of the season as the league restarted after the weeks World Cup break.
Coach Billy Davison and assistant coaches Alex Waddingham and Robbie Kennard, sponsored by Reflex and Relax, game plan was to keep in tight in the conditions. Due to injuries the team had 6 changes from two weeks ago. From the get-go Chobham looked exciting and put Twickenham under pressure. Unfortunately, as in previous weeks, again the Chobham discipline started to impact the game plan. Twickenham’s winger opened the score on the right flank, with their fly half whose boot would damage Chobham throughout the game adding the afters to give the hosts a 7-0 lead.
The Chob pack again took control and kept the game in the Twickenham half, stellar performance in the pack came from returnee Charlie Head and the back row of Jerry Rumball, Chris Kent and Euan Buckland. Rumball was denied an early try opportunity for apparently playing the ball on the ground.
Once again, the Chob scrum dominated and gave scrum half Kennard a strong platform to play off. Twickenham chose to stand up at scrum time and time again and the resets seemed to allow the referee to negate the Chobham dominance. Chobham’s man of the match this week was winger Ben Livingstone whose defensive play around the park was awesome.
With nearly a quarter of an hour gone fly half John Rumsey slotted a penalty for Twickenham not releasing on the ground to bring the score to 7-3. Chobham’s back line conceded penalty after penalty and did not seem to wake up to the referees wants. Twickenham started to take control of the line outs and scrum sand worked their way into the Chobham half. Again, penalty after penalty gave the hosts territory and eventually their Number 8 went over under the posts with the additional points giving them a 14-3 lead. Chobs back three of Livingstone, Alex Julian and Liam Monaghan were targeted regularly with long range kicks, luckily their hands were safe and did not get effected by the adverse conditions.
Props Jimmy Heslop and Joe Reid were being used as battering rams in the disgusting conditions, considering the driving rain Twickenham’s pitch held up well, but they were having to work just as hard defensively. Another penalty just inside Chobs half for offside saw the Twickenham fly half take the lead a further three points ahead and a couple of minutes later he added three more to give the hosts a 20-3 lead going towards half time. Tommy Reed searing run soon after the restart took Chobham well into the home teams half, their flanker was pinged for not releasing and Rumsey took the score to 20-6 going into the break.
Chobham were lucky to go into half time with 15 players on the pitch with a high teens’ penalty count, Davison’s half time talk left no one in doubt of his expectations.
Chobham came out in the second half with the same drive as they’d kicked the game off with, the bullish pack used their strength to work up the field and Dave Evans, now back on, was used appropriately. Five minutes into the second half Rumsey converted a penalty just inside the hosts half. The visitors from the restart conceded a penalty allowing Twickenham a platform just inside the guests 22, from the ensuing lineout they drove over to take a 25-9 lead. From the kick-off the hosts conceded a penalty and as their No.8 prevented Kennard from taking the quick tap he went straight to the sin bin. Chobham then used the extra man to their advantage to work back into the hosts half. Sean Bellion, now on the pitch, won the lineout and numerous pick and go’s took Chobham closer to the line. Finally, Head crossed the line, with Rumsey’s conversion, the visitors were now within 9 points of Twickenham with 65 minutes gone. Chobham’s ascendancy continued and 3 minutes later Bellion crossed the line to bring the boys 4 points behind Twickenham.
The last 10 minutes were very pressured, both teams’ spectators knew that the result could go either way at this point. Neither team in the lashing rain could get near the opponents’ line and so Chobham’s last hurrah failed with a knock on and Twickenham’s relief was more than apparent. Credit to the hosts for holding out through to the end.
1st Team Manager Harry Norman-Walker said after the game “As Chobham went into the last half hour, not many expected the purple patch ahead – so far Chobham had conceded unenforced penalty after penalty, had no control of their own line outs and seen the tide turn in their dominance of the scrums. The referee had been kind to us, and we had let ourselves down in the first half, we had lost a winnable game due to our indiscipline.”
After the game Assistant Coach Waddingham said “Chobham’s offside discipline let us down, we need to bring an urgency to our game and follow the game plan. It is a concern we go out with a plan and players don’t adopt it to our detriment!”
Next week Chobham host Old Cranleighans in a league and National Cup double header, the kck off is earlier at 1:45pm.
1 Joe Reid
2 Charlie Head
3 Dave Evans
4 Matt Bosworth
5 James Buchanan
6 Chris Kent
7 Jerry Rumball
8 Euan Buckland ©
9 Robbie Kennard
10 John Rumsey
11 Alex Julian
12 Oli Guy
13 Tommy Reed
14 Ben Livingstone
15 Liam Monaghan
16 Jimmy Heslop
17 Sean Bellion
18 Adam Peever