Green and Whites run riot in cup defence against Brighton giving head coach ‘selection quandaries’
Ten-try Horsham ran riot over Brighton 2nd in their defence of the Bob Rogers Cup at Coolhurst on Saturday.
Recent signing Mathieu Pecharman put down a hat-trick of tries and there was a brace each from Joe Wilde and Declan Nwachukwu as the hosts eased into the semi-fnals.
There were further tries from Kyle Fairs, Johnny Goward and Emmett O’Rahilly, while Tom Johnson kicked 22 points against their Zoo Sports Shield League Division 3 opposition in a crushing 72-14 victory.
It was more than comfortable for the Green and Whites, who made a number of changes, with one eye on their massive London 2 South East clash with second-placed Charlton Park this weekend.
Nevertheless, the home side put in solid display to increase competition for places as they set-up a last-four clash with Haywards Heath on February 23.
That home tie will be a much sterner test against their league rivals as Horsham look to lift the Sussex cup for a record sixth successive time.
The hosts led 32-0 at the break and never looked back, although Brighton brief scored a converted try to bring the score to 39-7 and then a further consolation right at the death.
Horsham head coach Nick Stocker was impressed by his players’ efforts and admitted it has brought about ‘interesting’ selection dilemmas.
He said: “It was a pleasing result which maintains momentum ahead of a big league match next week away to Charlton Park.
“We took the opportunity to rest a few players and with the enforced change at nine due to illness, we adapted very well.
“There were some good performances all round with players putting their hands up for selection in the coming weeks and combined with the Lions beating Crawley 1st team comfortably, the selection quandaries as we approach important games will be interesting.
“Man of the match was awarded to Mathieu Pecharman for his hat-trick and all-round performance.
“In three appearances he has now scored five tries and together with Declan Nwachukwu offers real threat out wide which we continue to try to exploit.
“Next week we have a real test of our season aspirations with a tough away fixture against Charlton Park who lie in second in the league.”
That test sees the third-placed Green and Whites attempt to close in a top-two finish. Their highest-ever finish in London 2 South East was achieved last year when they claimed fourth.
Horsham Lions also had an impressive victory, beating Sussex 1 side Crawley 46-19 in the quarter-finals of the Sussex Shield.
They will now host Burgess Hill in the last four on February 2.
Horsham: Fairs, T.Powell, N.Bell, McEoy, Goward, Osgood, Smith, Whiting, J.Bell, T.Johnson, Nwachukwu, O’Rahilly, Wilde, Pecharman, Condon. Subs: Barber, Redmayne, Tredgett.