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1st XV - Match centre

Hastings & Bexhill
Horsham Rugby Club
Tries
M Pecharman (2), J Whiting, J Earle, J Bell
Conversions
J Wilde (3)
Unknown
Penalties
Sat 27 Apr 14:00 - Cup Full time

Horsham in sixth Bob Rogers Cup Final win in a row

By

A Frenchman went to Hastings

Match report by Nathan Jervis

The conclusion of an incredible season for Horsham 1st XV would leave a lot to be desired. Out of the quagmire of spilled balls, knock-ons, mistimed runs and missed tackles however, victory was achieved. With promotion already secured two weeks ago, the heat within the crucible of Horsham rugby had lessened. Fortunately, it was still plenty hot enough on Saturday. As Horsham’s forces gathered on and off the pitch, the tension was never-the-less palpable. Had this reporter not been helpfully supplied with beer by his own beer runner in Imogen Dold, he may have even been nervous. One thing was clear; Horsham were in the Endgame now. The run-down of the match this week will be succinct, as there is much to be wrapped up after a scintillating season of rugby. Tim Smith was in attendance, much to the annoyance of those within earshot.

The whistle blew and 3 minutes later Horsham were on the scoreboard. The last time a Frenchman marched to Hastings in anger, they came away with the W. Saturday would be no different, a break from Aaron Linfield puts Mathieu Pecharman in to score. Joe Wilde converts well. 7-0.

Middling play resulted in a penalty awarded Horsham’s way at 9 minutes, however it went un-converted. Hasting & Bexhill would be awarded a penalty at 23 minutes which they were able to capitalise on to close the gap slightly on Horsham’s tenuous lead. 7-3.

Mathieu Pecharman, possibly invigorated with historical precedent, is able to find himself in space after multiple Horsham phases and puts the ball over to score. Wilde converts very well in the conditions - storm Hannah was skirting the field of play with tricky gusts - and puts Horsham 14-3 ahead.

Just before halftime Horsham gain momentum and execute multiple phases confidently culminating in the generously proportioned Jonny Whiting getting ball in hand before bull-dozing over the line. The try goes un-converted, and half-time sees the score set at 19-3.

Hastings and Bexhill were able to manufacture a possible comeback within the first 5 minutes of the second half. They were awarded two penalties off the back of sloppy Horsham play and good H&B pressure, however both went unconverted. This reporter would ask whether the rest of the game would have progressed as it did had H&B capitalised on this opportunity, but he will never know. It was also at this point in the game that the difficult decision was made to ramp up his beer intake to appropriate cup final levels. The rest of the afternoon would be hazy.

Based on reliable sources, Josh Earle was able to chalk his name on the scoresheet at the 65-minute mark following a typically strong carry by Declan Nwachukwu. 24-3. In incredible scenes which at the start of the season were spoken of only with irony – including by the Spaniard himself – the one they call Sergio Bebiano, hailing from Wigan, was brought on to replace the excellent Mathieu Pecharman. In his last game for Horsham he once again proved himself to have been an asset this season and has provided moments of ecstasy in his short-lived Horsham rugby career. Back to the game, and with cries of “Spaniard! Spaniard” from the crowd, Sergio took the field.

At 71 minutes Jordan Bell, I am told, executes a deftly timed quick tap and go and is able to score Horsham’s last try, also the last try of the game. Joe Wilde converts to see the final score set at 31-3. Joe Wilde made the bold claim that he is Horsham’s most capped player this season, this reporter was far too well-refreshed to challenge this so there you have it, in print.

After the match this reporter stumbled on to the side-line to watch the awarding of the Bob Rogers Cup for the sixth straight year. These wins have come against Hove (three times), Lewes, Crowborough and now Hastings & Bexhill.

Cup and medals awarded, naked laps run, and pictures taken. Horsham 1st XV saw out a season brimming with success the level of which has not been seen in a generation. It has been a pleasure to witness, and to report on.

After eyes had been dried, and lips wet, I went in search of head coach Nick Stocker for some words on the match. He would be found in the changing rooms, sitting alone on one of the benches, quietly reflecting on the day’s events.

“The performance today did not reach the heights that we have seen in recent weeks. After the emotional high of securing promotion two weeks ago, multiple changes and more disappointingly, a possible touch of complacency, we only managed to deliver a spluttering performance. In the face of a motivated Hastings & Bexhill side playing in their first Bob Rogers Cup Final, we did not look after the ball enough, were not smart in the use of the ball and lacked some physicality at the breakdown and in the tackle. That said, on those occasions that we did look after the ball, and went through some phases, we scored good tries and ultimately this was the difference between both sides - our ability to convert opportunities presented.

Regardless of the performance, it was a great way to end the season - securing the Bob Rogers Cup for a 6th successive time (surely there are precedents that the cup can now be kept???) on top of promotion to London 1. With promotion, our first team will not be eligible to defend the trophy next season with the Lions now needing to step up to do the honours. If their performance at London Irish is anything to go by, they will surely do the club proud next year.

With a raft of changes seen, man of the match was awarded to one of the players who has progressed fantastically well this season following his step up from last year's colts. Josh Earle's energy, work rate and no small degree of technical ability in the scrum coalface were excellent. He is a real prospect and one that I know Adam Halsey is looking forward working with further when we return after the break. In the meantime, we also made our farewells to Mathieu Pecharman who moved to Horsham this season from France to work on his English and rapidly showed his mercurial talents on the wing. His two tries today were a great way to sign off and we look forward to saying a proper good bye during the player awards night set for 24th May.”

Josh Earle

Player of the Match

Josh Earle

Key moments

3:00
Try Mathieu Pecharman scores for Horsham Rugby Club
4:00
Conversion Joe Wilde kicks a conversion for Horsham Rugby Club
23:00
Penalty Penalty kicked for Hastings & Bexhill
33:00
Try Mathieu Pecharman scores for Horsham Rugby Club
34:00
Conversion Joe Wilde kicks a conversion for Horsham Rugby Club
38:00
Try Jonathan Whiting scores for Horsham Rugby Club
65:00
Try Josh Earle scores for Horsham Rugby Club
71:00
Try Jordan Bell scores for Horsham Rugby Club
72:00
Conversion Joe Wilde kicks a conversion for Horsham Rugby Club

Highlights

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80:00 Player of the Match
Josh Earle is awarded player of the match for Horsham Rugby Club
72:00 Conversion 3 - 31
Joe Wilde kicks a conversion for Horsham Rugby Club
71:00 Try 3 - 29
Jordan Bell scores for Horsham Rugby Club
66:00 Sub On
Nick Bell is substituted on for Horsham Rugby Club
66:00 Sub Off
Josh Earle is substituted off for Horsham Rugby Club
66:00 Sub On
Sergio Bebiano is substituted on for Horsham Rugby Club
66:00 Sub Off
Mathieu Pecharman is substituted off for Horsham Rugby Club
65:00 Try 3 - 24
Josh Earle scores for Horsham Rugby Club
60:00 Sub On
Declan Nwachukwu is substituted on for Horsham Rugby Club
60:00 Sub Off
Marcus Condon is substituted off for Horsham Rugby Club
60:00 Sub Off
Emmet O'Rahilly is substituted off for Horsham Rugby Club
60:00 Sub On
Michael Tredgett is substituted on for Horsham Rugby Club
50:00 Sub On
Kyle Fairs is substituted on for Horsham Rugby Club
50:00 Sub Off
Ted Powell is substituted off for Horsham Rugby Club
50:00 Sub On
Jack Osgood is substituted on for Horsham Rugby Club
50:00 Sub Off
Adam Clarkson is substituted off for Horsham Rugby Club
40:00 Sub On
Tom Johnson is substituted on for Horsham Rugby Club
40:00 Sub Off
Aaron Linfield is substituted off for Horsham Rugby Club
End of period 1
38:00 Try 3 - 19
Jonathan Whiting scores for Horsham Rugby Club
34:00 Conversion 3 - 14
Joe Wilde kicks a conversion for Horsham Rugby Club
33:00 Try 3 - 12
Mathieu Pecharman scores for Horsham Rugby Club
23:00 Penalty 3 - 7
Penalty kicked for Hastings & Bexhill
4:00 Conversion 0 - 7
Joe Wilde kicks a conversion for Horsham Rugby Club
3:00 Try 0 - 5
Mathieu Pecharman scores for Horsham Rugby Club
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Hastings & Bexhill
  • Horsham Rugby Club
  • 0
  • Mathieu Pecharman Try 3:00'
  • Joe Wilde Conversion 4:00'
  • Penalty 23:00'
  • Mathieu Pecharman Try 33:00'
  • Joe Wilde Conversion 34:00'
  • Jonathan Whiting Try 38:00'
  • Aaron Linfield Sub Off 40:00'
  • Tom Johnson Sub On 40:00'
  • Adam Clarkson Sub Off 50:00'
  • Jack Osgood Sub On 50:00'
  • Ted Powell Sub Off 50:00'
  • Kyle Fairs Sub On 50:00'
  • Michael Tredgett Sub On 60:00'
  • Emmet O'Rahilly Sub Off 60:00'
  • Declan Nwachukwu Sub On 60:00'
  • Marcus Condon Sub Off 60:00'
  • Josh Earle Try 65:00'
  • Mathieu Pecharman Sub Off 66:00'
  • Sergio Bebiano Sub On 66:00'
  • Josh Earle Sub Off 66:00'
  • Nick Bell Sub On 66:00'
  • Jordan Bell Try 71:00'
  • Joe Wilde Conversion 72:00'

Team selection

Watts, Mike Watts, Mike
Condon, Marcus Condon, Marcus
Wilde, Joe Wilde, Joe
Ordidge, Jonathan Ordidge, Jonathan
Pecharman, Mathieu Pecharman, Mathieu
Bell, Jordan Bell, Jordan
Linfield, Aaron Linfield, Aaron
Whiting, Jonathan Whiting, Jonathan
O'Rahilly, Emmet O'Rahilly, Emmet
Smith, Jordan Smith, Jordan
Goward, Johnny Goward, Johnny
Clarkson, Adam Clarkson, Adam
Barber, Giles Barber, Giles
Powell, Ted Powell, Ted
Earle, Josh Earle, Josh

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