Corlett try sets tone as juggernaut rumbles on

Friday 24th January 2020 7:00 am
Toby Salmon powers toward the Twickenham try line en route to a 67-5 win. PICTURE: ADRIAN MYERS

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Farnham 67pts, Twickenham 5pts

BLUE skies and a drying pitch finally greeted players for Farnham’s league fixture against Twickenham at Wilkinson Way.

A firmer surface than in recent weeks gave Farnham the chance to play the open game in which they excel, and they made the most of it.

Because of injury, Farnham had once again to dip into its strong player base and call up Pete Simmons in the row, Mike Mizzi on the flank and Stan Marisa at wing with Dec Kavanagh starting at centre for injured talisman Mike Salmon. The bench also saw the welcome return of utility forward Jonny Davidson after several weeks away.

Both sides opted for running rugby from the kick-off, but it was Farnham who were first to cross the line. A penalty kick to the corner and quick ball from the lineout saw James Corlett crash through near the posts. Toby Salmon converted and soon after added a penalty from 30 metres out won by a dominant scrum.

Although the Farnham scrum was smaller, it worked much better as a scrummaging unit. Soon after, this platform allowed No8 Liam Welch to drive from the base and release Corlett for his second try. Salmon added the extras and it was 17-0 after just 20 minutes.

Play swung back and forth but Farnham always seemed in control. Ben Jones launched a penalty kick to the corner and from the catch and drive, Marco Azevedo crashed through. Salmon again added the extras and the lead was 24-0.

Although down by more than 20 points in almost as many minutes, Twickenham fought back and took play back to the Farnham line. Ten metres out and a wide pass was thrown for an overlap, but Ollie Brown intercepted the ball and ran the length of the pitch to score the try which was converted by Salmon for a 31-0 lead.

On 31 minutes the visitors finally had something to cheer. A Farnham defensive kick was charged down and Twickenham winger Stock touched down in the corner for what turned out to be their only score of the day.

Happily for the home crowd, Farnham were soon back down the other end with Jones and Toby Comley adding tries to take the half-time score to 41-5, although, many in the crowd felt the game was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggested.

However, a few minutes into the second half and Farnham were over again. This time the charging Welch went over after a Corlett break and some smooth handling through the team. Salmon again added the extras and it was 48-5.

A combination of injuries to both sides and maybe another collective relax by the home side quietened play for the next 25 minutes. With the physios back and forth and replacements taking the pitch for both teams, play swung between both ends with neither side able to make the scoring blow.

Finally, Farnham got back in control and again built pressure and Salmon jinked through to the line and then added the conversion. A few minutes later, Liam Welch broke from another scrum near the Twickenham line and offloaded to his new back row partner Mizzi who dabbed down for his first first XV try. Again Salmon kicked the extras and it was 62-5 with four minutes to play.

To their immense credit, Twickenham fought back, keeping the Farnham defence on their toes. But in the final play of the game, Farnham broke out from the halfway line and freed winger Marissa to scamper over in the corner.

On Saturday, Farnham travel to face long-time sparring partners Old Cranleighans.

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