Stocker eyes-up historic Bob Rogers Cup hat-trick

Horsham v Burgess Hill Bob Rogers Cup, Ollie Harcus
Horsham v Burgess Hill Bob Rogers Cup, Ollie Harcus
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Horsham Rugby Club head coach Nick Stocker wants to lift the Bob Rogers Cup on Saturday and complete what would be a historic hat-trick.

His side take on London 2 South East rivals Hove at Lewes in what is expected to be a tough battle between the two teams.

The Green and Whites won their way through to the semi-final by thrashing Burgess Hill, who have been relegated from the division below, 73-10 on Saturday, despite putting out several young players.

Stocker said: “It’s encouraging we have the chance to defend the title, which if we were to win would be a big achievement.

“However our opponents’ confidence will be sky-high after a series of wins.

“The cup is a good opportunity to get some silverware! It’s a way we can place a stake in the ground to move forward on.

“Some of our mistakes we have made this year have been rectified and we have already started to recruit for next season.

“We also have young players coming through our ranks who will be part of the replacement process as players get towards retirement or move on.

“With the greatest respect to Burgess Hill, we felt it was a good game to rest some of the regular first choice players and give some of the youngsters we are bringing on a chance.

“In the end it proved the right decision as the pace which we had was too much for Burgess Hill.

“This game will be totally different with Hove, who were relegated from London 1 last season, finishing this season just one place below us in seventh, albeit with ten points in between the two teams.”

The final has been brought forward to this weekend from the originally published date of May 14. It is unclear the exact reason for this but it is understood this was the only date that all parties were available for, with some teams going on tour despite the cup final date.

Stocker was delighted with his side’s first season in London 2 South East and believes they wouldn’t have to improve that much to rise further up the table.

He revealed: “Of the ten or 11 losses we had, about eight were by four points or less. If we had won them we could have finished third.”

Stocker has a couple of injuries in his squad but will be able to put out a strong team featuring all his top scorers such as Arun Thompson, Mike Watts, Declan Nwachukwu and 
Tom Johnson.

The final will be staged at Lewes Rugby Club, kicking-off at 4pm. Supporters 
are welcome.