Farnham put in convincing all round performance
The Farnham backs run in five good tries to defeat their league superiors.
The try bonus point was secured by a combination of dogged defence, powerful running by the forwards and accomplished finishing from the speedsters. This was the good all-round performance that Farnham had threatened all year and for the handful of the Faithful in attendance, proved an effective antidote to England’s later mediocre performance in Paris.
The wet weather cleared and a cross field breeze offered neither side any advantage. Despite the recent weather, the Twickenham RFC pitch – obviously preserved for 1st team games - offered perfect ground for the runners. This was definitely to Farnham’s advantage.
Farnham looked promising in the opening exchanges. Reece De Gruchy broke out and came close and a Farnham maul close to the Twickenham line was undone by a knock-on. The pattern of play saw Farnham releasing their pace out wide while Twickenham kept it close to their heavies with the occasional dart from their talented No 10.
A penalty to Twickenham inside the Farnham 22 saw them opt for the scrum. But this is turned over with great credit to the makeshift front row of Nesbitt, Yeomans and Joris at hooker. Ollie Brown’s hanging box kick allows Weeks to put the Twickenham wing under pressure and the ball falls into Toby Salmon’s hands. The Twickenham scramble defence holds firm good but after several quick phases, Salmon T puts an inch perfect cross kick for Joe Wigmore on the wing. In the competition for the ball, Twickenham fail to gather and who else but Salmon T is following up is own kick to snaffle the ball and go over. The conversion missed, but first blood to Farnham 0 5.
Twickenham are stung into action. They win a penalty from the restart which is put into the corner. The line out is effective and the ball spun sharply from left to right and back again giving the Twickenham winger the space for a relatively straightforward score. Conversion missed – as they all were bar one all afternoon and its 5 5.
Twickenham are next to score after further exchanges of territory and possession manufactured by the direct running of Farnham’s James Corlett at centre and Marco Azevedo in the row and the kicking game of the Twickenham 10.
Farnham were a man down at the time with Toby Comley yellow carded for not retreating from a quick tap penalty. Their centre had met a Toby Salmon clearance kick with his left boot on the full and that fortunate fly-hack put the ball in behind the advancing Farnham defence at which time the scramble defence conceded the penalty. The retaken penalty was nudged to the corner and the ensuing move saw the Twickenham wing in out wide. 10 5.
That Farnham conceded just one try while a man down pays dividend to their well drilled defence. The message at half time was to sustain that defence and take your opportunities. The Farnham team listened.
The second half paid tribute to the work by Farnham’s coaches. No matter the disruption to personnel, the team retained its shape, cohesion and threat. Much of that threat came from stalwarts Daly and Corlett. The latter was immaculate receiving the restarts and made many of the hard yards up the middle. The former, as always, dangerous from the base of the scrum and always in the right place at the right time. On one occasion receiving a clearance kick in his own half, Daly returned with an audacious chip and chase which for the bounce of that odd shaped ball would have put over flying winger Elliot Rich.
Atoning for his earlier error, full back Jones collected a Twickenham clearance kick, made yards and spun the ball across the back to Toby Salmon. His deft feet left the first line of the Twickenham defence grasping at air and as the cover defence moved in, he off-loaded to Wigmore to go over on the left. 10 10.
Toby Salmon picked up his injury while contributing to Farnham’s second try of the period. Putting in the phases, Farnham had battered up the pitch to create the space for Weeks to cut against the grain of a thin defence and finish from 10 meters out.
Farnham scored from restart. It was text book stuff. Corlett received, made yards and from the ruck the balls is fizzed by Ollie Brown – who made an impressive return to his slot at No 9 – to Daly who smashed up the middle and off loaded to Jemi Akin Olugbade – off the bench for the inured Salmon. Jemi belied his age to sizzle through the tackles. On to Weeks who combines with Elliot Rich down the left for him to go over out wide. 10-20.
Corlett uncharacteristically spills the restart and Twickenham threaten, but the omnipresent, indomitable man of the match Toby Comley intercepts and streaks away. Unfortunately, Weeks, in the clear, fails to collect the pass but the play is now well inside in the Twickenham half from where Farnham’s defence can rebuild.
Rich is carded for a high tackle and Ben Adams, who had lead a lineout that functioned well despite no regular hooker being available for the game, is off injured. Bar Colin Bentham - the interchange for the front row – the bench was empty. Match day coach Jamie Salmon had deftly rotated Yeomans, Bentham and Joris to sustain energy levels up front where they all did a good job.
Twickenham were now playing catch up and that created the space for Mike Salmon, at No10 for his injured brother, to break free and score under the posts. He converted his own try. At 10 -27 with minutes to go, the game was won. Again, Farnham’s restart exit worked well and those few minutes were played out in the Twickenham half.
Toby Comley 3, James Corlett 2, Marco Azevedo 1