Horsham start year on a high as Battersea are beaten

Horsham enjoyed their best performance of the season when they overcame Battersea Ironsides at Coolhurst in a convincing 36-12 win on Saturday.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 2:32 pm
Updated Monday, 10th January 2022, 2:38 pm

Victory for the Green and Whites reversed the defeat from when they played their first-ever fixture in Wandsworth in September.

Going into the game Ironsides sat sixth in the table, four places above Horsham. and would have fancied their chances against the Green and Whites who have faced a difficult campaign to date.

But nothing would have prepared them for Horsham’s intensity and onslaught from the start helped by players returning from injury.

Man of the match Jack Osgood goes on the charge for Horsham in their win over Battersea Ironsides. Pictures by Darryl Sears/DAS Sport Photography

Jack Osgood scored a try after five minutes following series of carries by the forwards, converted by Tom Johnson. Continued pressure in the Ironsides 22 metre area saw a five metre scrum option in the middle of the pitch and a quick snipe from the base for Aaron Linfield to score in his 50th game for the club.

Ironsides bounced back with a try from their only visit to Horsham’s 22 metre area, following a dropped ball while the Green and Whites were attacking, which was well moved for a fine team try despite good scrambling defence from the hosts.

Normal service was resumed on the stroke of half-time. Horsham's pressure was converted into points with a penalty awarded and converted by Johnson to take a 17-5 lead into the break.

The second half started with a similar set up to the first try which saw pressure in the opposition 22 metre area converted by Osgood for his second try after multiple forward drives.

Declan Nwachukwu touches down for one of his two tries

The bonus point try soon followed, finished by Declan Nwachukwu after good attacking play by the backs and finished with an unselfish pass by Oli Joels to the finish in the corner.

Pressure in the opposition half then saw possession regained and moved wide for a try well finished by Nwachukwu before Ironsides scored a consolation at the end.

Horsham's head of rugby, Nick Stocker, said: "A very satisfying bonus point win with five good tries scored.

"We were very aware that the extended Christmas break could have proved tricky but the boys have prepared well in the week with this result evidence that we have returned in good form.

"We controlled the game throughout with our forwards in particular having too much power for Ironsides, especially when we went into our patterns in the opposition 22 metre area.

"Our scrum proved a strong platform all afternoon and the lineout a good source of possession throughout. Most impressive was the control exerted throughout which blunted Ironsides’ threat and was the platform on which we built a score.

"There were a number of very good performances today from the likes of skipper Tom Johnson whose physical presence was enormous and proved an excellent battle with his opposing man - both will be feeling the after effects in the week!

"Jordan Bell on his return to the side was composed throughout and Declan showed his threat with two well taken tries.

"Will Fowler in the forwards carried well and alongside his back row partner Sam Jenkins turned over a steady stream of possession all game.

"Rich Tredgett continues to defy the years and was a thorn in the opposition attempts to drive mauls whereas the front row of Nick Bell, Dan Cass and Kyle Fairs were dominant throughout.

"However, taking the plaudits this week for a fine physical display with multiple telling carries and two finely taken tries, Jack Osgood was awarded man of the match.

"Next week we visit the iconic Old Deer Park to play league leaders London Welsh in what will be a tough match given their home record. However having run them closely back in September, we are certainly aiming to improve our performance and at least score some tries which eluded us last time."