Stocker salutes hard work as Horsham clinch their first win

Horsham's Jonny Ordidge
Horsham's Jonny Ordidge

Horsham coach Nick Stocker says their hard work after their opening-day thumping paid off as they clinched their first win in London 2 South East.

It has been over 20 years since the Green and Whites have been as high as Old Colfeians in the league pyramid and this was an important test for them against a side who have finished mid-table for the last few seasons and won their first game.

Horsham's Dan Crook

Horsham's Dan Crook

Horsham coach Nick Stocker said: “It was vital to get a win under our belts otherwise it would have started to affect our confidence. Old Colfeians are a good, experienced mid-table side so a positive result was crucial to show that we belong in this league.

“Our scrum and line-out did not function as well as in recent times against a lumpy pack. Although we have made a lot of changes we were below par and there is definitely-room for improvement.

“After last week’s thumping we have worked hard on our defensive patterns, we tackled better and looked a lot more organised.

“We looked a lot more threatening running in four tries and they only scored their first try because we took risks running the ball out of defence.”

The match started with Old Colfeians and when they did finally break the Green and White defensive line Will Bell was on hand to force a knock on in the tackle.

The visitors took the lead with a penalty when Horsham were caught offside, before Johnny Ordidge made a break and ran hard, offloaded in the tackle to Tom Johnson who attacked the space and found Andy Gray who crossed the line under the posts.

On 24 minutes, good set up play and rewind resulted in a try for Jordan Smith running a good line off Liam Brady as Horsham went into the break 14-3 up.

At the start of the second half Old Colfeians’ full-back Ed Livett made a superb break to carve open the Horsham defence but his long pass was not held. Minutes later Livett broke through again and executed a grubber kick however Jerry Downey read the situation and covered across to fall on the ball and clear.

Horsham brought on their replacements and a yellow card was awarded to each team for cumulative offences.

On 72 minutes Johnson bounced off an attempted tackle, powered on again and then passed to winger Dan Crook who crossed in the corner to take a seemingly unassailable 22-3 lead.

Horsham were then guilty of over adventure when trying to run the ball out of defence, and Old Colfeians were clinical to capitalise on the mistake to score.

The visitors then pulled back another try, but in the final minute, James Whiting crashed through several tackles and stretched for the line to score and take a bonus point amidst much celebration from the home supporters.

Stocker added: “Jordan Smith is my man of the match. He hit his rucks and tackles, tidied up well in the line out and ran a good line to score his try.

“Both of our young props, Kyle Fairs and Liam Brady played well, Ryan Grover showed grunt on his return, Tom Johnson put in a good performance and Will Bell was his usual reliable self.

“It was a good win to put under our belts but there is much to improve.”