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Quarter Final Surrey 28 v Essex 17

Unfortunately I was not able to be with the team for the first part of the day and had to leave the preparation to the coaching team.

Based on the excited faces I saw when I arrived at Esher RFC after the pre-match preparation it obviously went well. All the players and the coaches seemed to have enjoyed the morning session and were focussed and ready for the game.

We were missing one or two of our more experienced players but had confidence in the guys that had stepped up in to their positions.

We travelled to Thurrock RFC in good time and I would like to thank them for their hospitality for the day.

The first 10 minutes or so of the match were a fairly tense affair with neither side really gaining an advantage. Surrey looked tense and were perhaps trying too hard but once the first beads of sweat began to fly and we caught our second wind, the guys really started to play well.

Over the next 25-30 minutes we scored 4no tires that could have come off the training pitch. Set piece working well, set ups releasing quick ball and tries scored by runners coming at pace from depth.

Much of our dominance came from our speed off the line stopping Essex’s ball carriers and forcing them to turn over ball.

The morning training session had gone well !

We seem though to be a team of two halves and with a few injuries and player changes after half time, our flow was stopped. Essex began to dominate, their big ball runners getting over the gain and setting up position for them to peg us back with some late tries.

We knew they had some quality players and in the first half when we cut their space and time to think down so they could not play. In the second half our defence backed off and they were able to show their ability.

A Surrey win and we are now in to the semi-final against Durham, our opponents in Last year’s Final ! So we know they will be making the long journey down to Esher RFC with grim determination to go one better than last year.

I think it will be a truly exciting game and would like to ask / invite representatives of the Clubs in Surrey to join us to cheer the boys on. We have this season selected players from up to 18no Clubs across the County from Junior to senior and I would like you to use this as an opportunity for you to see the success we are having on your behalf with the players and perhaps help me to plan a way forward that gives boys not just a further opportunity to play representative Rugby but also introduce those boys coming back from University a chance to play at a Club close to where they live.

Coaches

Bob Dickinson Gareth Rise

Jonathan Griffin Chris Sewell

Mike Birmingham Sophie Capito Physio

David Page Team manager

Players

Nathanial Opedo 12. Tom Farrelly
Joe Radford 13. Sam Hall
Zack Taylor 14. James Hanson
Matt Perks 15. Mikey Macdonald
Joe Ferguson 16. Nicky Whitcraft
George Mathews 17. Max Christie
Ryan Travers ( Captain ) 18. Harry Blackmore
Alex Corner 19. Tom Doneggan
Ben Bowen 20.Mac Duabie
Alex Seers 21.Jamie Beighton
Josh Christie 22. Oliver Douche