Tunbridge Wells 46-18 Chiswick
By Graham Withers
Tunbridge Wells RFC are feeling confident ahead of their local cup derby at home to Tonbridge Juddians this weekend, after making it six wins from six outings with a solid performance against visitors Chiswick last Saturday.
Wells’ victory enabled them to retain top spot in the London One South table, crowning a 40-game unbeaten spell.
But it proved to be a hard-fought game which required them to turn around a half-time deficit.
The St Marks side started on the front foot as they hosted the visitors’ first trip to West Kent, and the away side were on the receiving end of John Rumsey’s try under the posts after just seven minutes.
This was converted by the team’s outside half Frank Reynolds, and three minutes later he secured the first of his two tries to make it 12-0. New forwards Turi Uini and Jake Mills were prominent in the loose, as was Chris Goodyer.
However, Chiswick recovered from these early setbacks and took advantage of loose play from Wells to score a penalty and two unconverted tries, leaving the hosts trailing 12-13 at the break.
Heavy rain greeted the second half. A Reynolds penalty put Wells back in front and then on 46 minutes, taking advantage of good work by Matt Cook and Mike Hathaway, Goodyer crossed for a try.
The game was put to bed ten minutes later when Reynolds benefited from powerful runs by Jake Thompson and Kyle McGarvie, who laid the groundwork for a further try.
While Chiswick got one score back, Wells’ Chaz Spence and Cook crossed again to make it 46-18 at full-time.
KENT CUP QUARTER-FINAL PREVIEW
This Saturday brings a week off league commitments as Wells host local neighbours Tonbridge Juddians for a Kent Cup quarter-final.
Captain Matt Cook said: “This was a good game for us, but although we started strongly, we took our foot off the gas and we ended up being down going into the break.
“We played a lot more tightly in the second half and there were some strong performances including from young No 10 Frank Reynolds, who is now playing a lot more tactically.
“The rain really came down in that second half, but we put on a good performance and we seem to be in the habit of winning now – so we’ll look forward to our next league game against CS Rugby. Next weekend’s game against Tonbridge Juddians is going to be a big match.”
Tunbridge Wells Chairman, Graham Withers, added: “Many of us have good rugby friends in Tonbridge, and we will offer a warm welcome to players, officials and supporters from TJs.
“Make no mistake, the league remains our priority but the players and coaches are justifiably proud of their winning run and will be doing all they can to keep fortress St Marks intact on Saturday.”