Cobham A Festival 2013 match report (29 September)

On a beautiful Indian summer's day, Cobham RFC was again the host to one of Surrey's top Mini-Rugby Festivals as the great and good of the county's clubs were represented, plus, rather randomly, Winchester in Hampshire. The format, like our B Festival involved 2 groups of 5 teams each with the first, second and third placed teams from each group going through into a Cup, Plate and Bowl final respectively.

First up for Wimbledon was Reeds on the hallowed turf of the 1st XV pitch no less. Would the boys, under Conrad's captaincy, be up to the challenge? If first impressions are anything to go by, the answer would be a resounding yes as Guy scored the first try from literally the first touch of the match. This was to be a really tough match against a well-drilled team whose star player, rumour has it, was also JK's nephew from a previous marriage - if the young lad's searing pace was anything to go by (never mind his full barnet of hair), he was not a blood relation. Further tries from Conrad and Freddie meant that the boys went into half time level at 3-3 (or 15-15 depending on how you look at these things). It was at this time that the management skills of our crack coaching team, Gazzer and Dazzer (otherwise known as Garrick and Darrell), came to the fore, with a couple of inspired substitutions as Ben and William made an immediate impact with early tries. A calmness under pressure and a couple of turnovers from good defence proved key as further tries from Conrad and Finn ensured a 7-6 victory. A great start!

Next up, and again on the 1st XV pitch, we were facing the tournament hosts, Cobham RFC. A mighty ask, coming up against a team with the financial clout of Savills bankrolling them, and on their home track! The boys started well and went into half-time 2-2, but, despite a brace of tries from our speed-merchant Freddie, and two further ones from Oscar and Luca, we went down 4-6 as we were punished for giving away possession of the ball too cheaply.

Game Three saw Teddington as our opponents. Although we were not at our best in attack, in a game dominated by defences, we were relieved to prevail as 3-2 victors in a tight game, with tries from Freddie, Luca and Oscar. Our final group game was against Farnham RFC. Despite being the whipping boys of the group, Gazzer and Dazzer again showed their class and experience and there was no way they were going to let the boys go into the game under-cooked. Sure enough, Luca scored with the first play of the match and followed up with a second shortly afterwards. A further try by Guy meant we were looking good at half time with a 3-1 lead. Encouragingly, the lads kept their foot on the pedal not giving anything away in defence, Chris in particular, and with further tries from Ben, William and Conrad we ran out convincing 6-3 winners. Our best game yet.

With all our group games now over we were reliant on other results to go our way…a nervous wait ensued and Teddington duly obliged in the final group match by securing a draw against Cobham which allowed us to top the group and sneak into the main Cup Final through the back door. London Irish were to be the opponents. Again on the 1st XV pitch, and in front of a hhuuuugggggeeee crowd, it was all set to be a classic. In a bruising encounter which resulted in injuries to both Oscar and Conrad, the boys were unfortunately unable to rise to the challenge and went down to a well-drilled side 5-1, with Luca scoring for Wimbledon RFC. Still, the boys can feel really proud of their efforts and runners-up out of 10 teams is a real achievement! Well done to the whole squad, a big thanks to Gazzer and Dazzer and things bode well for the season ahead.


Group Games
WRFC v Reeds - WON 7-6 (Conrad 2, Finn, Freddie, Guy, Ben, William)
WRFC v Cobham - LOST 4-6 (Freddie 2, Luca, Oscar)
WRFC v Teddington - WON 3-2 (Luca, Oscar, Freddie)
WRFC v Farnham - WON 6-3 (Luca 2, Ben, Guy, William, Conrad)

Cup Final
WRFC v London Irish - LOST 1-5 (Luca)

Squad - Conrad (capt), William, Chris, Ben, Luca, Freddie, Guy, Finn, Oscar.

U8 A team Cobham Festival Squad photo call.JPG174.13 KB