RUGBY ROUND-UP: Warlingham‘s 1st XV goes to Thanet on Saturday for the second round of the RFU Intermediate Cup confident not only having beaten the mighty Sutton and Epsom in the previous round, but buoyed from a comfortable 46-10 league victory over the Kent side last weekend.
Playing in London 2 South-East, Warlingham is the highest placed of local rugby clubs. They’re enjoying a rich vein of form lately, having won four games against leading sides in their division before the long trip to Thanet.
Warlingham have developed their forward game this season under the guidance of player-coach Tom Street, a PE teacher at John Fisher School, and all eight players had a hand in several opening phases of play which had the home side reeling.
A Thanet scrum was spoiled and Zack King, the Warlingham skipper, scooped up the ball and charged over for the first try.
From another scrum, Street picked up from the base and fed scrum half Steven Murtagh the try-scoring pass. Ollie Doe converted.
With the forwards, including young lock Ollie Dodwell and hooker James Delderfield, tackling ferociously, Thanet were able to make no headway. Driven back to within five metres of their try line, another scrum delivered Warlingham’s next try, Street controlling the ball at No8 to drop on the ball over the line. Doe added the extras.
Centre Brad Saffery showed that Warlingham’s backs could run the ball in, too, given a half-chance, while Street scored his side’s fifth try after sustained rucking and mauling.
Wing Jon Osborne (twice) and centre Ben Wimble also grabbed tries as Warlingham outclassed their opponents to move to fourth place in their league.
There were less encouraging outcomes for the area’s other clubs.
Purley-John Fisher, relegated from Warlingham’s tier last season and now playing in London 3SW, slipped to fifth place in their league as they were blanked at Winchester, 24-0.
In the same division, Midwives – Old Mid-Whitgiftians – suffered a 38-10 stuffing at Eastleigh. They’re now ninth of 12 in the table after seven matches in a 22-game season.
Down below the regional tiers, Old Whitgiftians, playing in Surrey 1, were beaten 32-24 at bottom of the table Old Freemans. Whits are now sixth in the division, ahead of Croydon, who lost 57-0 at Farnham and are now ahead of Freemans by a solitary bonus point.
Streatham-Croydon had been doing well in Surrey 2 following promotion last season, but they have now suffered defeat two Saturdays running, this time going down 33-27 to Battersea Ironsides at Burntwood Lane.
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