Rampant first half secures Horsham a place in Bob Rogers Cup final

Michael Tredgett dives over to score for Horsham against Chichester 2nd in the Bob Rogers Cup
Michael Tredgett dives over to score for Horsham against Chichester 2nd in the Bob Rogers Cup
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Horsham head coach Nick Stocker is pleased the work his side put in on the training ground is beginning to pay off as his side booked their place in the Bob Rogers Cup final.

They now face Hove in the at East Grinstead on May 27 in an attempt to win the trophy for a staggering fourth year in succession.

Horsham against Chichester 2nd in the Bob Rogers Cup

Horsham against Chichester 2nd in the Bob Rogers Cup

The Green and Whites edged a thrilling game 46-42 against Chichester in which they were forced the play the final 20 minutes with 14 men.

But Stocker said: “The way we played in the first half is something we’ve been trying to achieve for some time. It was very simple, very effective. We just looked very threatening.

“Execution was good, the basics were good, we just looked very threatening. The work we were doing is starting to pay off, albeit at this very late stage of the season.

“I don’t think the 14 men particularly made a difference. There were a couple of things that did happen during the game. We gave them three very soft tries.

Horsham against Chichester 2nd in the Bob Rogers Cup

Horsham against Chichester 2nd in the Bob Rogers Cup

“In a nutshell it was three very avoidable scores. Like everything, momentum is passed throughout the team. What was pleasing was that even with 14 men we managed to score two tries to keep them at arms length throughout. I didn’t think at any stage we looked like losing because ultimately it was our mistakes that let them get in to the game.”

Horsham raced into an eight-minute lead when George Palmer chipped the ball over his man and finished well. Canice Gonzague then fielded a kick return and seared through the defence to score from 30 yards.

A fine multiple-phase try was put down as the ball was popped to the Josh Steggles to score. With two of the tries converted by Tom Johnson, the Green and Whites led 19-0 after 29 minutes.

Chichester came back with a converted try, before Horsham were awarded a penalty which was slotted by Johnson.

On the stroke of half-time, Chichester had a player yellow carded and Michael Tredgett crashed through to score, converted by Johnson, as the Green and Whites led 29-7 at the break.

At the start of the second half, Horsham conceded a soft try from a tap penalty, but bounced back minutes later as Joe Wilde burst through a hole to score under the posts.

Johnson converted and after 50 minutes the Green and Whites enjoyed a 36-14 lead.

With successive yellow cards to Wilde and Johnson for deliberate knock-ons, the visitors narrowed the gap with three converted tries to 36-35 as Horsham played out the final 20 minutes with 14 men.

Horsham showed great resolve to dig deep and a good pick and go from the forwards saw Andy Carvell cross the line with Wilde converting.

With three minutes left, Chichester came back with a converted try to narrow the deficit to 43-42 to set up a nail-biting finish, before Wilde added a penalty.

Horsham: Fairs, Stone, Barber, R.Tredgett, Maguire, Carvell, Smith, M.Tredgett, Steggles, Wilde, Palmer, Johnson, J.Bell, Gonzague, W.Bell Replacements: Clarkson, Grantham-Hill. Crook.