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Old Suttonians 19 - 29 WOKING
Overall a good performance in awful weather conditions. Woking set out to be aggressive opting to kick off. Steve Rhodes chased up and smashed the ball carrier, Dan Hills and Adam Smith chased up ushering them into touch. This set the tone for Woking as they continued to barrel into Old Suttonians.
The weather suggested a very tight game but Woking must be commended and reprimanded for their bravery to try and play with style. Woking still played smart, tight rugby but, weren't afraid to attempt offloads and play a fast and direct brand of rugby. This created holes all over the field, resulting in their best try of the season so far, Alex Douglas-Arden running in on his debut.
Justin Dougherty, having been given the nod at 10 over the inform Mark Rose was playing with a renewed confidence and looked threatening all game, playing very flat and bringing players off him. On the half way line he called the big forward runners outside him, took the ball to the line, he committed their back row and opposite number and put Steve Rhodes and Adam Smith through the hole, nice interplay between them and then a lovely offload to Neil Murphy who saw Alex Arden in space to give him a run in from 20 yards out. This would have been an exceptional passage of play in dry conditions but, to do that on Saturday was something special.
Defensively Woking were very good. They didn't over commit, meaning they generally had the width of the pitch covered. Ben Bremner deserves a mention here, although his tackle count wasn't that high he ensured Woking kept their width in defence. Staying wide he pulled players out to create the wall in defence once the line was set he would start push himself inwards. A masterclass from Ben in that respect.
Credit to Old Suttonians, they came back hard. Using the elements to their advantage, they continuously tested Woking’s back 3 under the high ball. With the swirling winds and rain and nothing left to offer up front this was very smart tactically from them and at one stage brought the game back to a 3 point margin.
Woking regrouped under the posts, some stern words from the coaching team of Pete D’Cruz and Mike Aitchison, and came back at Suttonians harder, utilising their strengths. First with an excellent kick off, chased and caught by Steve Rhodes. Then Woking just kept the ball tight, 8/9 consecutive pick and go from the back of the ruck, and they were over the line again to make certain of the result and pick up a much needed bonus point.
Man of the match: Mark Rose, excellent in all areas of the game. He really lead the team in both attack and defence. His communication was outstanding. Good day from the boot too.
Pete D’Cruz commented after "Our set piece was once again outstanding, thanks to Srinandhan Srinivasan, our forwards coach who keeps pushing them forward. The backs looked sharp, but still plenty to work on. Mark really lead that group, and James Webber also talked well to his wingers. A very strong team performance against a tough opposition."
LINE-UP: Alisdaire Hamilton-Wilkes, Rory Blundell, Ben Bremner, Matthew Brennan, Jon Hursthouse, Adam Smith, Steve Rhodes, Dan Hills, James Bannister, Justin Dougherty, Gareth Nearn, Callum Wogan, Mark Rose, Alex Douglas-Arden, James Webber.
SUBS: Neil Murphy, Phil Robertson.