After three successive defeats in the league, the intermediate cup and a trip to Farnham RFC gave OC’s a chance to get back to winning ways. After a very late departure and a bus driver with Satnav issues the team arrived just 40 minutes before kick off. To add to this Fletch had pulled up with an injury and another late drop out lead to the surprise call up of Danny Gardner to the bench. His first game for the first team in about 10 years. Not the best start.
The pitch looked good from far but was far from good. The pitch was heavily saturated combined with the one of he worst rain showers ever witnessed during the first 5 minutes meant there was little chance of a free flowing rugby game.
Having said that the wind and rain during the first 5 minutes did allow Farnham to gather their only line out of the day when the hooker threw the ball in and with a huge gust of wind, it landed straight into the scrum halves hands and play on was called. Mystified looks followed. Other than that the line out was a real area of dominance for OC’s.
Once the rain had stopped and the backs from both sides got the idea of a rain break out of their heads, OC’s started to gain some dominance especially in the pack. The OC’s physical pack was no match for the underweight Farnham pack and a well constructed driving maul led to Chris O’Malley dotting down for his first of the afternoon.
Farnham struck back with great individual try from their number 8. Both teams exchanged penalties and the score was 13 – 13 at true break. OC’s hadn’t quite been able to use their dominance to gain the lead.
Half time gave us the opportunity to regroup and make some tactical adjustments to make our dominance count. The boys came out for there second half with the half time message of ‘KICK THE BALL OFF THE FIELD’ ringing in their ears.
The players delivered on the messages and put real pressure on the Farnham line out with Andy ‘Victor Matfield’ Gardner doubling his career line-out steals. This pressure lead to territory and opportunities to use our effective driving maul. Chris crashed over from close range off a driving maul before Galey smartly took the ball off the forwards to go over in the corner. The backs started to show their physicality as well and Ed Livett, not your traditional big ball carrying 13 managed to sit down the Farnham 10,12 and 13.
Farnham could only manage a penalty in the second half and didn’t come close to threatening the line. There was just enough time for one more driving maul and for Chris to complete his hat-trick.
A comfortable win in the end and a good way to end the losing streak. Notable mentions go to Jordan Spoor and Victor Spaczil who both played well on debut. MOTM was controversially not awarded to the hat-tick hero Chris O’Malley but instead went to Jack McCusker for his all round game and versatility from moving from the centre to the back row at half time.
The league returns next week when OC’s travel to Maidstone.