The Scarlet & Golds Win at Camelot!

Hemel Hempstead 26 – 28 Chobham

Chobham got their first home and away of the win this season at Hemel Hempstead Camelot, which became the game of the season so far. Both teams played exciting running rugby and were closely matched up front. 4th placed Hemel Hempstead went into the game quietly confident after a really good recent run. Looking for their first win of 2024, Robbie’s squad was bolstered with the return from injury of Pete McCain and Angus Hargan in the front row, Matt Bosworth returned in the second row, Magnus Barber started in the centres and on the bench was a debut for utility back Dalo Govender. South African Dalo made a huge impact on his club debut for The Cannons against Reigatians with a hattrick.

As the Scarlet & Golds ran out on Saturday, which was Sam Goddard’s 50th 1st XV appearance, it became very quickly apparent how strong the Chobham pack were again. They dominated the lineouts and their driving maul caused Hemel problems time and time again. Chobhams first try came within 5 minutes from a turnover within their own 22 and as they ran the ball Hemel conceded a penalty, from this quick thinking Guy Mawhood ran the ball and passed to Noah Jenkins who ran 40m and then passed back to Mawhood who finished under the posts.

The Camelots first score came from a scrum half way in their half, through multiple breakdowns and phases before a great move took the ball from the right wing to the left for winger Clarkson to score. On the half hour Chobs had a scrum 5 metres in and a line break from their 10m by Magnus Barber saw him run to the hosts 22 before he passed to Sam Davies who scored and converted his own try. From the restart Hemel got a penalty and kicked for the corner. From the lineout a cheeky pass back inside saw hooker and captain Massa score.

From a 5m lineout a few minutes later Hemel this time caught and set and then passed the ball to the other wing before fullback Norman scored to give Camelot the lead. It was now the turn of the visitors to score from the kick off, a direct run by Goddard allowed a supporting Davies to move the ball back in field for Mawhood too get his second try. The teams went in 21 each at half time, for what had probably been one of the best 40 minutes of rugby of the season.

The restart saw Chobham carry on from where they left off and their pressure finally paid off when a cross field kick by Oli Guy was caught by Josh Sheppard who 5m was taken to floor by 3 Hemel players and allowing space for an inside pass to Chris Kent saw him score. 25 minutes later Hemels next try came from a 22m lineout and followed by some poor tackling saw Norman got his second try, the only unconverted try of the day. After missing the conversion 10m from the wing, Hemel fly half Davis also missed a penalty chance 5 minutes later to win the game.

Chobham won 28-26 a fantastic game where the game could have gone either way, the Scarlet & Golds dominant pack was probably the difference between the two teams.

After the game Head Coach Robbie Kennard said “we reset after the break week and put the last few results behind us. We finally came together and kept playing for 80 minutes, the first half was a complete performance and that made a real game of it. Once again our pack totally dominated which gave us a great platform to work off.

We now have nearly a month to get ready for our next game and plan the last few games of the season.

After the game Director of Rugby Harry Norman-Walker said “I was really pleased for the boys to get this win, Hemel were never going to be easy and we made a great game all the better with a victory. Our backs played much better and enjoyed the running game off the set piece!!

Our next game is not until 16th March away to Old Priorians because Leighton Buzzard withdrew from the league.”

Great news that Chobham Alumni Sam Riley has been named for the England A squad 27-strong provisional squad to take Portugal on February 25 in Leicester, in what will be their first A team match since 2016 when they competed as the Saxons on a tour of South Africa. Quins hooker Sam Riley has trained previously with the full squad and has also played England U20s.

Starters: Pete McCain; Sean Bellion; Angus Hargan; Chris Kent; Matt Bosworth; Sam Goddard; Dan Warren; Dan Benton; Guy Mawhood; Adam Peever; Noah Jenkins; Oli Guy; Magnus Barber; Josh Sheppard; Sam Davies.

Replacements: Harrison Jones; Ben Puttock; Dalo Govender.

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