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Saturday 6th September 2014
RFU National Junior Vase
Woking RFC v Chess Valley RFC
After a rousing pre-match team talk by Captain Phil Robertson, Woking took to the pitch fired up for their RFU National Junior Vase fixture against Chess Valley RFC. However the first kick of the match was put straight into touch by Woking and their opponents opted to restart with a scrum. Woking packed down, determined to make amends and drove the Chess Valley pack backwards in an omen of what was to come. The ball was turned over and play proceeded deep into the away side's half, cumulating in a knock on and the second scrum of the match.
Under immense pressure from the Woking tight five, the Chess Valley scrum buckled and retreated but the ball was somehow extracted and the visitors broke away. As he ball flows though the backs hands out to their winger, the opposition break the defensive line and an opening try looks imminent but for a last ditch tackle by full back Raife. From the turnover ball, captain Robertson bursts up the blind side wing into the 22, pops off a lovely little inside pass to the 'soon-to-be-40-2nd XV prop' Childs who's run the supporting line and now heads flat out for the try line closely hounded by the opposition backs to no avail. Woking opened the scoreboard 7-0.
From the restart Woking take the upper hand, winning turnover ball and with blistering runs by Gregory, Rhodes, Smith and Gilbert. New-boy hooker Bundell broke the defensive line and unloads the ball to none other than Childs who today has a taste for running in tries and crosses the whitewash for his second. 14-0 and the floodgates have now been opened.
Poor defending of an Edwards chip through from the restart provides Woking back Doherty with the opportunity of crashing over in the corner for try number 3 despite desperate claims of a knock on by the opposition. Play continues in this fashion from a Woking line out - a loose pass almost missing scrum half Bannister, gathered by Smith who smashes though the line and off loads a looping pass over the remaining defenders into the hands of Rhodes who scores between the posts, 28-0.
Time after time the Chess Valley attacks are quickly smothered out and the ball overturned as Woking tighten the screw. Pinned in their own half the opposition struggle, Murphy breaks a tackle and loops an off load to Bannister who scores.
Camped in Chess Valley’s 22 for the remainder of the half and working through the phases, Woking were dominant. Childs spies a massive gap in the defence and the chance of a 1st half hat trick and calls for the ruck ball. However the ref takes one giant step into the channel blocking the pass, the ball is knocked on at the back of the ruck and the half time whistle is blown.
Chess Valley return from the half time break regrouped and looking to make amends. With some flowing rugby and line breaking runs their comeback looks promising. But Woking, not to be perturbed turn the ball over from an isolated player, quickly spin it across the pitch and put hooker Blundell in for his first try and the first try of the second half.
Woking defended aggressively from the restart and forced Chess Valley back inside their 22. A loose pass puts their fullback under pressure and he had no option other than to touch down in their in goal area for a 5 meter scrum. The home side go for the pushover and the Chess Valley front row are penalised for standing up. A second scrum is taken and Chess Valley crumble under the pressure conceding the penalty try. Sub, new boy Roberts makes his debut for Woking 1st XV with some penetrating runs accompanied by further tries from Murphy and Childs who picked up his hat trick and with it man of the match.
In full credit to Chess Valley they dig deep and their endeavours are finally rewarded as they broke from the back of a scrum, shook off some sloppy Woking defence and crossed the line avoiding a whitewash. Unfortunately for them the change in momentum is relatively short-lived as one of their subs is deemed have been slightly too eager at the ruck. Penalised for diving over and killing the ball he spends 10 minutes in the sin bin. Beefy prop Bremner took full advantage of the oppositions reduced numbers and broke through on the 22 to go over for his first try for the club closely followed by some individual brilliance from Boorman who ran in from the half way line to score and tie off the last play of the match, 81-7.
Captain Robertson commented "…see what a great performance we can produce when we get fired up for a game and play as a team. All the hard work training throughout the summer is finally starting to pay off. Let's keep this momentum running through training this week in preparation for our first league games in a few weeks' time. Good effort all around lads."
Childs, Blundell, Hamilton-Wilkes, Gilbert, Bennett, Robertson©, Rhodes, Smith, Bannister, Edwards, Murphy, Doherty, Gregory, Boorman, Raife. Subs: Bremner, Pearce, McGiven, Roberts, Powers