Gerry Murphy’s match report from the home defeat to Chobham.
TRINITY 21 CHOBHAM 40
Trinity had the better of the opening exchanges and a strong run by Farooq Agbalaya gained a promising field position. However,Chobham hacked a loose ball into the home half and then Trinity were penalised in the scrum. Chobham kicked to the corner, mauled well from the line out and scored. A fine conversion from far out gave them a 7-0 lead after 6 minutes.
Mids were soon back on the attack and a succession of powerful scrums had their opponents in disarray. The line out was working better with George Daniels securing good ball. Chobham were repeatedly penalised in their own 22 as the home scrum turned the screw. Eventually the referee had enough and awarded a penalty try to tie the scores after 14 minutes. Trinity continued to have the better of things and Temi Okenla made the first of his several strong runs of the afternoon. The scrum was doing magnificently but the line out was still not quite good enough and Chobham were able to survive. After 20 minutes the visitors got into the Trinity half and drove a maul a full 20 metres before recycling well and scoring under the posts.
Trinity replied with some good running and deft passing and, playing advantage, Harry Wilson’s chip through was just too strong for the Mids support following up. They declined the penalty and went to the corner but the line out was lost and again Chobham were let off the hook. Their next chance came when Daniels won a better line out and the ball was moved smartly left. A sudden change of direction saw Daniels do a fine pick-up off his toes before unloading to Jacques Bryant who was flying up on the right and was unstoppable. Jack Greenwood kicked a solid conversion, and the teams were level again at 14-14 on the half hour. Trinity pressed well for the remainder of the half though the visitors broke away twice and only good tackles by Wilson and Ali Hall saw off the danger. James Jenkind made a sharp run down the right where he eluded several tackles, but Chobham held out. Trinity were disappointed that they did not turn their dominance into scores and an injury to Agbalaya was a big blow which added to the problems due to earlier injuries to two good carriers in Connor McGrath and Adam Stammers.
Trinity started the second half well and ran the ball. Bryant made another good burst, but things changed dramatically when a line out and maul created space for Chobham and their elusive scrum half danced over. Another fine kick from the touchline put them 21-14 ahead. Jack Greenwood produced a fine weaving run when he fielded a high ball and Chobham’s line out, which had been rock solid made a couple of mistakes as Daniels competed well. In general, however, the visitors were at an advantage territorially and, when Trinity were penalised in midfield the scrum half took a quick tap and outfoxed the defence to score the bonus point try. Trinity felt they should not be so far adrift, given the work they had put in up to this point. They deservedly got back in the game when Hall won a long throw to the back of the line out and, after the ball was moved left, Marc McEvilly produced a lovely sidestep and sped to the line. Greenwood’s conversion narrowed the gap and home supporters looked forward to more.
It was not to be, however. The visitors, who had been annihilated in the scrums earlier found a way of holding their own and, in fact, drove the Trinity eight back on a number of occasions. Trinity resisted well with a turnover from Ollie Hubbard, some stout resistance from Ben Vaillant and Okenla, as usual, giving everything in tackles and counterattacks. The injuries too, were taking their toll and the vistiors put the game out of reach with two further tries before the end.
Trinity will take heart from their performance against one of the strongest teams in the league but will need to reflect on a number of defeats where they have been outplayed later in the game, having been in contention. Quite a few results have shown heavy defeats which have not been a reflection of what took place on the field. The opposition have generally been more clinical and taken their chances.
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