Good afternoon everybody and welcome to our last home league game of the season and what a cracker it looks like being. It only seems 5 minutes since I was writing my piece for the first home game of the season against Twickenham and it’s good to be finishing the league programme on a (hopefully) sunny, spring afternoon in front of our loyal supporters.
I commented early on that I thought that this league would be very competitive and a glance at the league table certainly confirms that with the Surrey trio of ourselves, Wimbledon and S&E all in the National 3 promotion mix on the final day. Add in Guildford who had a good run until January, Sidcup, who have always been thereabouts, and quality sides of the likes of Brighton and today’s opponents Havant, and you have one heck of a good league. With no single side dominating, the rush to the iPhones in the bar on a Saturday evening to see the results confirms that they have always been intriguing. Our win last week at Hove was a good example, as whilst they had already been relegated, they gave it everything as you would expect and although our 7 try victory was pretty convincing, Hove’s resistance demonstrated the need to focus for the entire 80 minutes.
Before I move on to today’s events I would just like to place on record our appreciation to the many people who support senior rugby at Fowler’s Wells. From bar and kitchen staff, to 1st aiders, physios and medics, groundsmen, touch judges, coaches, marketing and fund raising, photographers and videoers, referees, administrators and managers, the whole of the playing group would like to say a big thank you for all that you do for Chobham Rugby.
In addition we have a number of congratulations to deliver. Firstly, to Justin Rowland who represented England Counties U18‘s in their international festival at Hartbury. Next to Alex Seers and Mikey MacDonald who have been selected for England Counties U20’s for their tour to Hungary. Congrats also to Ollie Smith who joined the 50 Club last week at Hove. All four players are products of our successful mini/junior/senior conveyor belt which this season has provided 24 (62%) of our 1st XV squad. Finally the Crusaders (5th XV) clinched their league title last week. Well done guys!
So to today. Well we have all read the league table and there are many permutations depending on how the results go. The easiest option is that a Chobham win will mean that Wimbledon must also win and we will at the very least be guaranteed a play-off spot. Dealing with that option, any play off will be away against either Eton Manor or Colchester on 25 April. In the event that two teams are level on points, the number of wins comes next and we are in good shape there with 22 against 20 for both Wimbledon and S&E.
First, we need to focus on doing our job well and winning what will be a very competitive game of rugby. Havant will come to rain on our parade I am sure. They are a good side and we know from our very close encounter on the south coast as the season opened just how competitive they are. But we are on a great run of form with 15 wins on the bounce and a superb home record so can go into this match brimming with confidence and with a desire to get the result that we want to keep the pressure on Wimbledon to do something similar against Sidcup. Tony and Ryan will have the boys buzzing I’m sure.
So who would have thought that it would all come down to today and what a great reward for the fantastic backing our supporters have given all season both home and away. I’m sure the touchline will be packed this afternoon and the minis in particular have made a great effort to get behind us which is really appreciated. So let’s hear that Chobham roar all afternoon and make sure we cheer the boys onto a famous victory.
Enjoy the game.
Nigel Guy- Chobham RFC Director of Rugby
CHOBHAM 1st XV 2014-15
Please salute the 39 players who have given us so much entertainment this year and have already achieved the most successful 1st XV season in our club’s history.
|Dom Sammut 50||Ben Sims||Sam Forbes|
|Ryan Gregory Centurion||Mike McDonald||Oli Guy 50|
|Adam Blemings||Jamie Evans||Angus Hamilton|
|Josh Devitt||Ollie Smith 50||Dan Mays|
|Tony Paul 50||Tom Riley 50||Neil Callendar50|
|Ian Barnes||Tom King||Howard Turner|
|Sonny Kuwana||Aaran Mawson||Jake Dunne|
|Lee Evans||Alex Seers||George Matthews|
|James Dunne 50||Callum Edwards||Mike Spencer|
|Lewis Manning 50||Alec Thomson||Tim Woods 50|
|Liam Monaghan 50||Dave Askew||Andrew Walsh 150|
|Euan Buckland||Ollie Wakefield||Justin Rowland|
|Harry Guy Centurion||Jerry Rumball||Neil Tilley|