Blistering start from Green and Whites helps secure emphatic win over Dover

Horsham v Pulborough Rugby SR1726110  -Declan Nwachukwu . Pic Steve Robards SUS-171228-110105001
Horsham v Pulborough Rugby SR1726110 -Declan Nwachukwu . Pic Steve Robards SUS-171228-110105001

Horsham made a blistering start to score five first-half tries and set themselves up for victory in one of their best performances of the season against Dover.

The comfortable 41-12 win in London 2 South East also saw the Green and Whites avenge their narrow, last-gasp defeat in Kent in December.

Dover have been the form side in the league with only one defeat since Christmas and the avalanche of early points for the hosts made a mockery of the pre-match predictions of a tight game.

On this form the Green and Whites will be kicking themselves that but for some mid-season inconsistency with defeats against sides lower in the table, they could have been challenging for the second-place promotion play-off spot.

A delighted Horsham head coach Nick Stocker said: “It was a good performance from the whole team. The set piece functioned well - particularly the scrum which was dominant and the work rate of the forwards around the park with strong carries all day gave a real platform for the backs to play.

“Our accuracy, was, on the whole, excellent and combined with the pace we possess, we stretched Dover’s defence all afternoon. The performance certainly makes up for a last-gasp defeat at their place in December when for several reasons we had to field a very under-strength side.”

In the first ten minutes there was clear intent by Dover to play open attacking rugby but the defending was good and the visitors were kept pinned in their own half.

Horsham finally opened the scoring after 16 minutes when Declan Nwachukwu finished wide on the right, before then chasing and putting down a loose ball for his second.

After more pressure, Jonny Whiting finished a great try following a set move at a line-out. Josh Steggles made an interception on the half-way line to run in and score under the posts converted by Joe Wilde.

Ryan Maguire then scored from a Mike Watts quick penalty, converted by Wilde and Horsham went into the break leading 29-0 with the game seemingly won.

The second-half was far more even as Dover refused to let their heads drop. However, it was Horsham that scored first as Whiting picked up and gave the ball to Wilde who finished well and converted from the touchline.

Dover responded with a try from a driving maul and then were gifted a try out wide to narrow the deficit to 36-12. A good scrum and set-up play saw Watts finish well to seal victory.

Stocker added: “Man of the match was awarded to Kyle Fairs who had a great game with telling carries while being destructive at the scrum. For the team’s ever-present player this season, a good reward for a fine performance.”

Horsham travel to Haywards Heath for their final league game on Saturday, with the match also doubling up as the Bob Rogers Cup semi-final.