POSITIVE CAMPAIGN START FOR CHOB
H.A.C. 24 – 20 CHOBHAM
Saturday saw Chobham travel to start their new campaign at Level 6, in Regional 2 Thames, against Honorable Artillery Company (HAC). New head coach Robbie Kennard knew it was not the easiest start against an opposition who finished runners-up last season in Regional 2 Anglia. but the Fowlers Wells boys performance saw them come away with a bonus point loss.
The squad saw three league debuts, Joe Head at scrum half, Harvey Bowen as replacement front row and Jonny Boylett as further pack cover – all three had come through the youth section at Chobham which bodes well for the future.
From the start the Scarlett & Golds held their own and 5 minutes in HAC were penalised on the half way allowing Sam Davies in open the account for the visitors. In the first half Chob totally dominated the set piece and will be disappointed to not have used it to their advantage. But 10 minutes in HAC were to take the upper hand with a neat pop in the middle of the pitch allowing crash ball centre Slack to cross the line for a converted try.
The visitors pack won the majority of the HAC line outs and it was from yet another dominant scrum penalty that Davies was able to convert his second penalty. An up beat Chob went in at the break a point down, knowing that the game was well within their grasp. The Scarlet & Golds had dominated the first half in all areas, despite being a point down, if they could convert their performance into points this was definitely a game for them to win.
But the second period saw the Level 6 experienced HAC come out fighting and start to go up through the gears, Chob started to look under pressure and 5 minutes in an off the ball incident saw McCain go to the sin bin. Within a minute a Quinlivan converted try extended the hosts lead and 5 minutes later a great penetrating run saw Bell score his try. HAC had scored 14 points during the yellow card period.
Just after the hour from a 5m scrum the ball went through the backs hands as Chobs Tommy Reed crossed the line for a converted try. But only a couple of minutes later the visitors captain Bellion also saw a yellow card for killing the ball just short of the try line. From this penalty HAC were able to extend their lead by 3 points. The last play of the game saw Chobs second try from a very similar position to their first try, but this time saw Tom Martin to score his first try for the 1s.
Head Coach Robbie Kennard said “A very positive performance from us today. Against a team that finished 2nd at level 6 last year, we felt a tad disappointed, given that we could have won the game had we been more clinical with our decision making. However, we pushed a good team, took a losing bonus point back with us to Fowlers Wells. We will be working hard in the week and are excited about the challenges ahead.
With a number of players unavailable for a various reasons, we are only going to become stronger in the coming weeks.
A special mention to our bench today, with Jonny Boylett, Harvey Bowen and Tom Martin all coming through our youth section and certainly stepping up to 1st team rugby; the future is very bright.”
Director of Rugby Harry Norman-Walker said “we have to be proud with the squads performance today, we pushed HAC and we really could have won the game. Playing for 20 minutes with 14 players made it hard for ourselves and we need to just play the game the same as we did last season.
Our pack totally dominated the lineout and scrum, which is exciting moving forward. HAC are a well drilled side who will perform well this season.
It was great that 15 of the squad are ex youth players and the whole bench were part of our next generation, we have exciting times ahead.”
Next week sees Chobham host Hertfordshire side Old Haberdashers at Fowlers Wells.