Blundell hat-trick leads Woking to glory

Match Date: 
Woking Team: 
First XV
Opponent Team: 
Farnham 3rds


Woking Score: 
Opponent Score: 

Woking continued their fine opening run to the season traveling across to Farnham for a pre-season friendly fixture. Woking, continuing their injury woes, with Mark Rose joining Mike Aitchison on the recent invalids list, saw Mark Sargeson gained his first start in the no. 10 shirt.

Difficult wet conditions made the start of the game scrappy, but Woking's reliable set piece saw the scrums going forward and the lineout balls secured. Skipper Rory Blundell opted for a tight game, which quickly paid off as Matt Edwards dogged his way over the line from the back of a ruck. Shortly after Blundell followed suit, picking from the back of a ruck and finding a gap for another 5.

Farnham looked to attack the wider channels, an interesting tactic given the conditions, but the admirable call to play wide rugby paid off as Woking's defence was stretched and Farnham got onto the score board. 5-10, the scores remained until half time, with the play becoming bogged down in the wet. Scintillating.

Woking backs stepped up at the start of the second half; centre Dan Hills making some excellent choke tackles in defence, and linking nicely with protegee Shaun Gilbert in attack. Seb Murphy created himself a number of chances after some rash kicks for territory from Farnham, and Dave Garvey began cutting some excellent running lines. Garvey and Jordan Mayes had some beautiful interlinking play, falling short of success through unfortunate handling errors.

On came Farnham's bench to push for a victory, and Woking struggled for 20 minutes to keep out the pressure, resulting in Farnham crossing to take the score to 12-10. A special mention goes to the lock pair of Jon Hursthouse and Lee Abi Haydar who had their heads buried for 20 minutes in places no man should stick their head! Justin Dougherty also kept Farnham advances at bay with some dancing footwork and phenomenal kicking for touch from hand.

As with last week, Woking fitness prevailed, the extensive pre-season training regime from coach Pete D'Cruz and marine Joe Bennett proving worthwhile. Woking wore out the Farnham pack and turned the game back in their favor, culminating in another excellent Matt Edwards try, securing him man of the match, converted by Mark Sargeson, 12-17.

Farnham crumbled in the closing stages, and the ever poaching Blundell snaffled himself two quick tries in succession off the back of some mazey running from Evan Marchant and Tom Smith, and very well drilled forward mauls from the back of the lineout. Some late on excellent covering tackles from Ross Cahalane meant that the game closed Farnham 12 - 27 Woking.

Injured Mike Aitchison commented after the game, "The 2's have secured a fantastic victory away at Mitcham, and the 1's have shown superior fitness and determination to grind out a great result at Farnham. It's an excellent result for the club as we look to carry this fine form into the league structure."