Woking RFC 7 vs

Raynes Park RFC 41

Looking to build on their previous week’s victory Woking were once again hosted by neighbours Chobham RFC for what was their last home match of the regular league season.

Photo taken by Keith Greig
Photo taken by Keith Greig

A sign of things to come Woking were forced into a late change when hooker Scott Kendall dropped out with an injury picked up during the warm up, forcing a reshuffle that saw Matt Armstrong from  from the centres to cover the front row.  Woking started brightly and played some controlled rugby in the Raynes Park half. 

Captain Jacob Woods who missed last week’s fixture due to illness was proving a handful making several runs which punched holes in the visitor’s defence, taking Woking deep into the Raynes Park 22. Under pressure it was ill-discipline which forced Raynes Park to concede an early penalty.  Woking opted for the lineout and attempted a rolling maul; however it was disrupted by Raynes Park who managed to win back possession and clear their lines. 

Having weathered the early Woking pressure, Raynes Park settled into the game, getting onto the front foot, and forcing Woking back deep into their half.  There was some respite for hosts as they capitalised on Raynes Park errors and in discipline to work their way back up field. However, errors and some impressive tactical kicking from the Raynes Park half backs, which included several 50-22m kicks meant any possession and territory Woking did get was quickly lost. 

Despite some fine defence, the continuous Raynes Park pressure finally paid off as they scored first with a looping cross field pass to their winger who crashed over in the corner.  They were to try this again a few minutes later, however winger Adam Fenton got a hand to the pass and tapped down to skipper Jacob Woods who had the pace to run the length of the pitch to score from inside his own 22m and score under the posts. Rhys Parker added the conversion to give Woking a 7-5 lead somewhat against the run of play.

For the remainder of the first half, Woking played well in spells with some strong running from all the forwards created a good platform for chances to be created. However, there were far too many individual errors, lapses in concentration and instances of indiscipline which Raynes Park took full advantage of in ruthless fashion to build a substantial lead in a short space of time.

The afternoon went from bad to worse for Woking. Firstly, a serious shoulder injury to fly half Marc McGiven forced Woking into a further reshuffle as they used their final replacement. The reshuffle meant several players throughout the team were now playing out of position. Woking managed to see out the half going into half time trailing 29-7.

The half time message from captain Woods was clear. Forget what has happened, improve concentration and discipline. Stop making it too easy for your opponents!

Again, Woking started the second half brightly and again the forwards set a solid base for several breaks to be made in midfield.  Unfortunately, each time, Raynes Park managed to scramble their defence and the Woking support play wasn’t able to quite keep up or convert the territory in to points. Then in the space of just a few minutes Woking were to suffer a series of injuries that forced off winger Adam Fenton, flanker Josh Claydon and prop Yuvi Jagoda. With no further substitutes available Woking did their best to continue with 12 men.

Playing against an opponent with a significant numerical advantage Woking were forced to hold onto the ball for dear life. With the odds against them, this last ditch approach appeared to be working as Raynes Park looked surprised at the waves of attacks coming at them. However, the Woking resurgence proved to be short lived and unsustainable with so many players missing. Raynes Park simply waited for Woking to turnover possession to score a 2 more tries. The last of which was from their winger who completed his hat trick as the Raynes Park forwards once again snaffled a loose ball and took advantage of their extra men with an overlap down the blind side to score in the corner.

Full Time: Woking 7 - 41 Raynes Park

Captain Jacob Woods commented “On the whole I can’t fault the commitment of the boys to stick it out, especially in the 2nd half and show glimpses of the kind of rugby we can play.  For the remaining games, I really want us to work on discipline and concentration as that is what put us out of this match today when the sides were even. We have 3 league games left and I am determined to get points out of these.”

Man of the Match: Ross Henson

Next match: Reigate (A), Kick off 2.30pm