Mon 28 Oct 2019 12:05

Dorking Colts 15  Hove Colts 19    (13 October)
When the sun shines at the Big Field, it is lovely. When it rains, it can be pretty grim - and this was grim. So much so I wasn't able to make any notes, so this will be relatively short (you may be pleased to hear!).
So, to the rugby. Hove only came with 16 players and requested that we shorten the format to three periods (from the four we had planned for). 
In the first period, we had the wind at our backs and started strongly, spending plenty of time in the opposition's 22. From a scrum within sight of the posts, Toby Arnett picked up from the base and passed to Archie Coldicott who picked a great line coming in from the wing to find a gap in the defence and score. Cam Rolph, making his first appearance for the side this season, converted emphatically. 
The next score originated from good defensive pressure near our own line forcing a dropped ball. We counter-attacked with pace and accuracy. Rolph drove up the far wing and gave a scoring pass to Coldicott who finished his second. No conversion this time but a Rolph penalty soon after meant we turned around 15-0 up. 
In the second period we endured a fair amount of pressure and leaked two tries as Hove powered over from short distance each time. Their prop converted one so it was 15-12. The ferocity of the encounter was starting to take its toll though as we lost three props to injury in a short space of time. 
At the toss for the third period, Hove chose to have the wind at their backs again. This was telling as they scored a further converted try in similar fashion. There was a good determination from the players though as they drove down the pitch with Ben Parkinson making one bullocking run through the Hove ranks, scattering several defenders, and Alfie Wainscoat continually threatening. But the conditions caused errors and that allowed Hove to clear their lines. 
Maybe a fourth period with the conditions in our favour would have made a difference but it wasn't to be and we lost 15-19. 
The game was inevitably error-strewn but we did give away too many penalties allowing Hove to ease the pressure. Also, the number of changes we had to make throughout the match meant that we lost structure and some discipline. It is always a tough and competitive match between these two sides and this was no different. 
Congratulations to Hove and we look forward to playing them again later in the season.
And a speedy recovery to Tom, Louis and Ethan following their injuries.
Tries: Coldicott 2
Con: Rolph
Pen: Rolph
Warlingham Colts 22  Dorking Colts 28    (6 October)
We were welcomed to local rivals Warlingham by blustery conditions but a good playing surface and a good sized squad for the match split into four 20 minute quarters.
These encounters a normally highly competitive, bruising and tight affairs and this was no different. 
The first period yielded no points. While Warlingham had some early pressure and the wind at their backs, our defence was strong with Ben Parkinson working well in the loose turning ball over back to us and a particular rib-rearranging tackle from Toby Arnett.
Having failed to take advantage of the conditions, we made Warlingham pay in the second period with 3 unanswered tries, all from deep positions. The first came as Hector Calder broke with blistering pace and a mazy sidestep for a superb individual try. The next came from another individual break from Chris Preen. While more direct it was just as effective as he touched down out wide for the second. And from another Preen break, Matty Gwyther showed great anticipation to be on hand to score the third. Gwyther added all three conversions - one particularly impressive from out wide. So we turned round 21-0 up.
The third period was another tight session. Missed tackles out wide allowed Warlingham to break their duck, but then Ben MacKenzie read a pass well to intercept and run in to score. Freddie Fowns-Walpole added the extras this time and we were 28-5 up. 
With the wind in our favour, and a strong team to finish, we might have expected to stretch away from our hosts, but it wasn't to be. We lost our shape and discipline and made wrong decisions to allow Warlingham a foothold. They took this and profited with 3 unanswered tries. 
So a bit of a disappointing end to the match but we won against a strong side. It was good to see some good individual performances and return of players to the fold, such as Johnny Read who looked hungry and combative when he came on.
Next up Hove at home next week who, again, will provide stiff opposition.
Tries: Calder, Preen, Gwyther, MacKenzie
Cons: Gwyther 3, Fowns-Walpole

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