With a number of players unavailable it was a chance for other players to stake a claim for positions, the 2nd team kicked off first and had a notable amount forwards playing in the backs!
Playing on a slope, Chobham scored first in the corner but tries by Danny O’Connor, Ian Saunders, Tom Christie and Jacob Pavlides allowed the second team a strong win. The coaches and players are determined for the second team to be a success this year and Head coach Sandy Robertson thinks they will be a match for anyone “we a large amount unavailabilities this weekend but it is a credit to the players to get two squads here, I am really pleased with the seconds performance considering we had 12 forwards playing!”
The 1st team kicked off 45 minutes after the 2s, Hove quickly put pressure on the Chobham defence but ultimately spilled the ball trying to offload. Carles Cananova was running from everywhere but Hove couldn’t get into their attacking rhythm. However, what must of pleased the coaches was the resolute defence of the Hove players, a notable improvement on last year.
Eventually Hove managed to break through, a slick lineout move caught by Charlie Watts enabled Martin MacDonald to run down the 5 metre channel, however instead of going for the corner, MacDonald decided to cut inside offloading to Watts who was held up by a stern Chobham defence.
Hove then came again, Declan Peake barged over after a number of short phases but the referee judged the ball to be held up. After another strong Hove scrum, a sweeping backs move allowed Harry Nelson to go in for his first try, conversion unsuccessful, Chobham 0 Hove 5.
Much of the rest of the first half was defence for Hove as they continually coughed up possession, but the aggressive defence led by Rob Ward and Guy Patton kept Chobham at bay. Hove were also dominant in the lineout with the ever present Carl Buckland stealing 3 of the first 5 lineouts.
Chobham eventually scored before half time with a well measured pass from their ten enabling their winger to run in. Conversion was unsuccessful and the scores were Chobham 5 Hove 5 at half time.
With the focus on retaining possession for the second half, Chobham kicked off and Hove immediately gave it back to them, Chobham then pressed the Hove try line but an excellent turn over by Chris Knott allowed Hove to clear their lines. Hove then lost the ball again which Chobham took advantage of, but another handling error from the hosts allowed Rene Pavlides to scoop up and sprint in unchallenged, with Casanova adding the extras the score was Chobham 5 Hove 12. Almost immediately, Chobham struck back after some great defence by Hove, with a delayed pass by the Chobham ten allowing their winger to scanter in, conversion unsuccessful, Chobham 10 Hove 12.
This seemed to kick Hove up a gear, where they managed to retain possession long enough for a great backs move, which allowed Cyprus international Rene Pavlides to weave around his opposite number and score under the posts for his second try. Conversion successful by Casanova making score Chobham 10 Hove 19.
Some more resolute defending by Hove kept Chobham scoreless for the final 15 minutes. When the referee blew the final whistle there was a great sense of relief after a first win in over a year. Credit to Chobham as well who also had a challenging season last year, we wish them luck in London 2 South West.
Assistant Coach Jack Newton said “I was pleased with our defence, that was a definite plus point but we have a lot to do this week to tweak our attack, our decision making as well is something we have to look at as we squandered a number of opportunities”.
Hove 1s will be looking to kick off their season next week against Old Alleynians in style, KO 3pm. The seconds are also in action as they take on Lewes (a).