Stobart steps in as Warlingham’s Street makes exit

RUGBY ROUND-UP: Warlingham RFC has issued a statement to confirm our story from last week that their head coach and long-time touchstone of the side, Tom Street, has stood down with immediate effect.

Warlingham leader: Tom Street, has stood down as player-coach

Warlingham leader: Tom Street, has stood down as player-coach

Street, a member of staff at Purley’s John Fisher School, has coached the Warlingham first XV – who play in London 2SE, making them the highest placed of local clubs – since 2010. Street has recently become a father for the first time.

According to the Warlingham statement, “The club has appointed Ben Stobart as his successor after his recent return to the UK from Hong Kong.”

Stobart said, “Warlingham is a great club and I am hoping I can add to an already accomplished set up. I look forward to getting as many players, both new and existing, to become closely involved with Warlingham and to ensure we are preaching the same playing message throughout the club – from the minis to youth and on to senior players.”

Stobart is a former Harlequins and Richmond player and was involved both as a player and coach of Hong Kong RFC.

Among Stobart’s first tasks will be to turn-round a series of league defeats, which culminated with the side scoring 36 points at Medway last Saturday and still losing the game, conceding 45.

A bonus league point for scoring four tries was scant consolation: it was the second week running that the “Mighty Warl” had shipped more than 40 points, this time conceding six tries.

Running rugby: Wes baron on his way to the tryline for Streatham-Croydon at Chipstead Meads last Saturday

Running rugby: Wes baron on his way to the tryline for Streatham-Croydon at Chipstead Meads last Saturday

The match was as good as lost just after half-time, with Warlingham three scores down before staging a late comeback.

Warlingham’s tries were scored by scrum half Steven Murtagh, Mark Kozminski, centre Brad Saffery, Jon Osborne and Alex Skinner. Kozminski also kicked a penalty and four conversions.

This Saturday, Warlingham host bottom-of-the-table Thanet Wanderers at Hamsey Green.

The glut of points seen at Medway was in stark contrast to a couple of games involving other local sides on Saturday, with a single penalty scored in the 80 minutes giving Old Whitgiftians the win at Old Walcountians in the derby at Woodmansterne in Surrey 1, while Purley John Fisher won 6-0 at Eastleigh in London 3SW.

The narrow victory gives PJF a glimmer of a chance of a promotion play-off place. This coming weekend will prove testing as they face league leaders Winchester at the Pightle in a 14.30 kick off.

Streatham-Croydon’s promotion chances from Surrey 2 look to be extinguished after another tight contest, losing 10-7 at division leaders Chipstead. Wes Baron scored Streatham’s try, converted by Aaron Brown.

Another big game on Saturday sees the visit to Frant Road of Battersea Ironsides.

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