After a scintillating preseason, which included a competitve and combatative affair against local rivals KCS Wimbledon, the Ironsides Men’s 1st XV had the chance to open their London SW2 account with a visit to perennial Surrey powerhouse Chobham. Given the team’s aims for the 2019-20 season, coming away with a competitive performance under their belts was a must.
Facing up to an archetypal Surrey-sized pack, the last of the summer sun was expected to be advantageous for the well-drilled Ironsides pack, with an intense start setting the scene for an exhausting afternoon. Wasting no time in trying to take charge of the newly-promoted team, Chobham found themselves both 3-0 and a man down after a cynical foul 5m out, with Charlie Stuart slotting home from in front of the posts.
Taking full advantage of the extra pair of hands, Ironsides found themselves 8-0 up just five minutes later, with league debutant Danny Bomken touching down in the corner after some slick backplay, silencing the opposition touchline. Not to be outshone by the early attacking flair, the defence stepped up just minutes later with Ben Lyons plucking out a perfectly-timed interception, giving Stuart an easy conversion to take it to 15-0.
With the break beckoning, and a need to get on the scoreboard before the half, the hosts marched downfield. Putting together a number of phases to take them to the Ironside’s 5m line, Chobham were unable to break through. Even when falling down to 14 men, after a deliberate knock-on from Bomken in the midfield, the defensive line continued to bend but refused to break, with Andy Rees taking a painful knock to stop a certain try. Industrious play by Burman in the backrow, unreleting defence across the team and a well-timed interception from McIntyre saw Ironsides clearing their lines and going into halftime 15-0 up.
The start of the 2nd half saw the Ironsides backline all-but extinguish the home teams intent, with a Donell box kick setting up Turner and Bomken for a 90m gain, and a quick scrum to the visitors from just 5m out. After an afternoon suited to slick hands in the backline, it was the turn of the front row to deliver, with Martin, Boronkay and Horscroft setting a solid platform for Seb Trower to power over, opening the captain’s account for the year.
Despite the home team putting their size to good use, to draw the score back to 20-5, the final plaudits went to Jack Lavin at 12, weaving his way in to put the game to bed and bag Ironsides an away bonus point win at their first time of trying, with a second Stewart penalty wrapping the game up at 28-5.
Ironsides 1st XV
Martin, Boronkay, Horscroft, Chess, McIntrye, Reeves, Burman, Trower, Donell, Stuart, Turner, Lavin, Lyons, Bomken, Rees.
Subs: Newsham, Craig, Geraghty.
Tries: Bomken, Lyons, Trower, Lavin.
Pens: Stuart (2)
Yellow Cards: Bomken, Trower.
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