Irish made several changes this week as Head Coach Jamie Balls rotated his squad giving several players a chance to stake claims reflecting the competition for places within the Club. There were a total of 6 changes in personnel and 2 positional alterations. The match was played in front of a large Sunbury Crowd bolstered by the U10s who provided ball boys as well as entertaining the supporters with a half time game of touch.
The Wild Geese started the match at a high tempo stretching the Chobham defence on several occasions and after only 3 minutes hooker Connor Browne was released down the right hand touch line where he should a good turn of pace to evade two tacklers on his way to scoring in the corner, Barry McLaughlin converting. Following a Chobham penalty for a ruck infringement Irish struck back with a lovely piece of handling by full back Lawrence Price to send Matt Guy over out wide. McLaughlin again added the extras from the touchline. Whether Chobham awoke or Irish got sloppy the game became a contest for the next 20 minutes. Penalties were exchanged as nether team mastered the interpretation at the breakdown as the game became more disjointed Chobham sniffed a come back, a neat dart my their fly half under the posts left the half time score 20-13 to London Irish.
The second half began as the first had ended with Chobham now attacking with confidence and winning the contest on the ground, Irish were certainly not playing their usual patterns and one began to wonder if so many changes was effecting communication with a series of poor decisions conceding possession and territory. Irish moved further a head with several penalties and once again began to dominate proceedings culminating in three tries in the last 10 minutes as their superior fitness and perhaps belief shone through. Lawrence Price scored the pick with a solo run from inside his own half to secure the bonus point. Wingers Lewis Chance and Matt Guy with his second got the other two. The final score 43-13 was perhaps flattering to the home side as Chobham provided a sterner test than recent opposition.
Director of Rugby Chris Magowan said “To be below par and score 5 tries against decent opposition is a result I will take. We made a few mistakes today, perhaps tried too hard on occasions to make things happen. This side knows how to be patient, it is one of their strengths and we will be reinforcing that this week at training”
Head Coach Jamie Balls added “I took the opportunity this week of giving several fringe players a run, I am happy with the depth we are creating but you have to keep players interested with game time. It was an opportunity to see what other guys can offer at this level, especially given we meet League favourites Juddians in Tonbridge this Saturday”.