Welcome back to Fowler’s Wells for our 11th home game of the season and 22nd game in total.
Well, we are getting to the squeaky bum time of the season and it’s good to be able to celebrate two “W”s since I last reported. It seems a long time ago since our final leg of the Surrey treble against Wimbledon, having seen off Guildford and Cobham in the previous two league encounters and what a cracker it was. The majority view from the touchline was that it was a high quality game played between the two best teams in the league and I suppose you could say the current league table confirms that observation. One or two others noted that there wasn’t much action (apart from the tries) in the red zone. My response was that was because we had two pretty evenly matched teams aided by two wonderful place kickers in Wimbledon’s former Ealing and Esher man, Neil Hallett and our “young pretender” Alex Seers. With those two on form you offend in your own half at your peril. At the end I thought we deserved our victory, showing a clinical approach to finishing off half chances when they arose. When you are playing the top, you know you’ll only get a limited number of opportunities and you have to take them. It was wonderful for the players to do all this in front of what must have been one of the biggest crowds ever to descend on Fowler’s Wells and the noise and encouragement just when we needed it in the last 10 minutes was amazing. You are definitely our 16th man!
With the adrenaline having just subsided, helped by a few relaxing pints of Mighty Mighty and Cock’s rendition of Mustang Sally, our attention turned to our trip to Gosport & Fareham. Ryan and Tony’s focus was ensuring that we didn’t take Gos too lightly following our nine try drubbing at home in November. Fortunately the words coming out of Portsmouth Harbour helped as it was clear that Gos were much changed with the Navy crew back ashore and a decent run going. Like us they also benefit from a supportive home crowd. So we faced a revved up Gos, got our noses in front early on but couldn’t quite make everything click thereafter. If the front row boys of Sonny, Blem, Cock, Ollie and Balls wanted some scrummaging practice last week then they certainly had it as both sides struggled to hold onto the ball in the strong, biting wind. In any event with Barnesy making sure we didn’t let up, we missed the waiting banana skin, took the 4 points and remain hot on Wimbledon’s tail. With the Dons due at Gos this weekend, let’s hope Gos can go one better and do us a favour. The happy bus trip home turned into a rehearsal for this Saturday’s karaoke night as the boys belted out their favourites although I didn’t expect to hear Chas & Dave on board or our own former public schoolboy rapping- interesting what you learn on a coach trip!
So to today and our visitors Brighton who we welcome to Fowler’s Wells. Our last three games against Brighton have been pretty close with Chob taking two wins last season and the Blues nicking a last minute win at Waterhall in November, despite us leading with a couple of minutes left. So, we know their strengths and the fact that they play for 80 minutes. As ever, Ryan and Tony will have the guys focussed and raring to go to keep up the pressure on those around us in the table.
We’ve three home games left in this defining period and we look forward to our magnificent touchline continuing to provide fantastic support for us. The players continue to be grateful for your encouragement and cheering us onto victory as our 16th man.
Come on CHOBHAAM!!
Chobham RFC Director of Rugby