Nigel Guy shares his view from the touchline :
Welcome back to Fowler’s Wells for our third home game of the season. The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster but thankfully we in true Chobham style came through and now feel very positive about our rugby.
Our last home game saw us take on former National League team Basingstoke who appeared to be finding their feet in London 1. Well what a humdinger of a game it was. 11 tries, last minute see saw and final second drama resulting in a one point win for the men from down the M3. To be fair, they made life difficult for us particularly at the break down and their adventurous, hard running style was threatening all afternoon. We were undoubtedly disrupted by changing our entire back row from the previous week, but it just shows how resilient we were, not playing well and still only going down by the narrowest of margins against a very good side. As a post script, after digesting our transgression of the RFU registration rules, it was sobering to read of the allegations concerning Basingstoke and the press speculation that they might suffer a 15 point deduction- it will certainly make the league table look rather different!
Moving on to last week, when we saw the fixture calendar we felt happy going to Dover in early season. It is a very difficult place to go and win and once the weather turns, the men from Kent are a formidable unit on their own patch as their forward dominated game comes into its own. It was with some trepidation that the Chobham caravan headed down to the south coast with the Indian summer having finally broken and wind and rain was the order of the day. However after leaking an early score, the Chobham pack fronted up superbly and laid the foundations for a well-earned victory. On days like this the front row union take the plaudits and Sonny, Cock, Blemmo and TR dominated their opposite numbers. Barnesy was inspired by the birth of his second child for which we send our heartiest congratulations and Dunney was immaculate from the tee and with a final score of 21-13, Chob had a fully deserved away win at a place that historically we have struggled to perform. I understand from my moles that the return bus trip was very relaxing with soothing camomile tea being served and gentle Gregorian chants emanating from the back rows! Adding to our pleasure was a convincing victory for the Cannons over Basingstoke and also the Devs 3 against Reading.
So this week we have a local derby to contend with. Newly promoted Guildford have had a good start to the season following their promotion from London 2SW, although they too have fallen foul of the RFU registration system losing 5 points in the process. Nevertheless, games between our two clubs are always hard fought affairs as we strive for local bragging rights. Our last encounter was in April 2012, the titanic title deciding encounter at Broadwater. In filthy conditions a superb performance from the Chobham team ensured victory and the London 2 SW title and who can forget the wonderful support from the balcony. Our 16th man certainly helped that day and I encourage all of our supporters today to get behind the teams and roar them on.
Today will be a good test for our boys but I’m sure Ryan and Tony will have prepared the squad well and confidence levels will be high as we look to continue our progress. With the 2’s also hosting our Guildford and the Devils 4 taking on Wimbledon, we know that there will be plenty of hard fought rugby to be played this afternoon at Fowler’s Wells. Please get behind the boys and cheer us to three victories!
Enjoy the game.
Nigel Guy / Chobham RFC Director of Rugby