Chobham started the festival with a narrow 2-1 defeat against the home side, although could have won the game. Our defensive game clicked from the start and stayed tight all day, playing a high-pressure line and chasing everything down, with some terrific rucking throughout – we were just a little slower getting going on the attack. Next up was Ealing, a stronger team (and eventual cup finalists) than RP, which also finished as a narrow 2-1 loss, but again our defence was brilliant – on our toes and pressing hard all the time, and maintaining an organised line.
We beat Windsor 3-2 in our last pool match, finally getting our attacking game going whilst maintaining the same defensive resilience – twice driving Windsor back over their dead ball line. That win earned us a third-tier (bowl?) semi-final against London Irish, where we won a brutal and crunching game, finishing 2-2 but with Chobham winning on a try countback.
In the bowl final against Teddington, the boys played a near-perfect match, running out 4-2 winners with a terrific mix of that consistent high-pressure defending, committed rucking and great forward movement on attack.
All in all a terrific effort played with genuine team spirit. It’s hard to pick a stand out player, they all fought superbly for each other and played a defensive game as better than they’ve ever played. Gabriel, Nick and Daniel Lwon countless rips and drove with real gusto; Bradley, Daniel C and Andrew made strong try-scoring runs from deep and scrapped for everything in the middle. Christian and Simon rucked like monsters and along with Jules put in big and important tackles on much bigger boys; James continues to get into his game and made good support runs and a couple of nice offloads going into the tackle.