Woking RFC 29 vs Egham Hollowegians RFC 22

Woking were back in action at home looking to return to winning ways after defeat at London French and the cancellation of the Old Suttonians fixture the week before. With Egham and Woking neck and neck in the Surrey Counties 5 league table, the winner would consolidate 4th place going into the Christmas break.

Photo taken by Justin Cliffe
Photo taken by Justin Cliffe

Still missing several players through injury and unavailability Woking were still able to name a strong looking squad. Woking looked dangerous early on and this showed when a counterattack from deep resulted in a try for full back Keilhan Watson.  Shortly after flanker Josh Claydon made a broke through the Egham midfield only to be brought down shortly before the line, a quick recycle of the ball allowed scrum half Matt Ralph to cross over for the second. Mark Rose converted from a tricky angle to make it 12-0 to the hosts.

Egham came back into the game after this and after several Woking infringements, took the penalty in front of the posts for 3 points.  The game was evenly balanced for the remainder of the half with both sides committed yet unable to get a real advantage in the wet and blustery conditions.  This stalemate was broken just before half time with another fine counterattack from full back Watson deep in the Woking half which resulted in skipper Jacob Woods scoring to edge Woking further ahead.

Half time: Woking RFC 19 - 3 Egham Hollowegians RFC

Despite being forced into several changes at the break due to injury Woking started the second half in the same vein as the first finished with an excellent team try.  From a centre scrum on half way replacement scrum half Rhys Parker broke right to combine with winger Marc McGiven who beat his man and making good ground popped back inside to the supporting Matt Ralph who was stopped but was able pop up the ball to blindside flanker Carlo Moriska in support to crash over on debut.  It was then Keilhan Watson’s turn to get his second using his pace to break down the touchline and score in the corner to give Woking a 29-3 lead.

At this point, Woking should have been comfortable, but tiredness and injuries almost saw Woking snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  The last twenty minutes saw Egham use their big pack to good effect and pressurise in the scrum.  They managed to get 3 tries which brought the score back to 29-22.  The last few minutes saw Woking defend doggedly before driving Egham back to the 22-metre line and a knock on bringing the game to an end with relief for Woking and despair for Egham.

Both captain Jacob Woods and first team coach Mark Rose agreed there was a lot of character shown especially in the final quarter with players being forced to play in unfamiliar positions. The latter commenting “I think today was a valuable lesson in how we need to play for the whole 80 minutes. That said when it really mattered, the boys stood up to be counted.  I couldn’t be prouder or asked for more.”

Jacob Woods, added “We now have 4 weeks over the Christmas break to get injuries sorted and continue to prepare for what promises to be an exciting second half of the season.”

Full Time: Woking 29 - 22 Egham Hollowegians

Man of the Match: Jacob Woods.