Eight-try Green and Whites take a step closer to Twickenham dream

RUGBY: National 2 South East: Horsham v Thanet Wanderers. Pic Steve Robards SR1523874 SUS-151210-124352001
RUGBY: National 2 South East: Horsham v Thanet Wanderers. Pic Steve Robards SR1523874 SUS-151210-124352001

Horsham found their scoring stride as they moved a step closer to Twickenham with a comfortable victory over Thanet Wanderers.

The Green and Whites crashed over eight tries as they eased past their league rivals with a 53-17 win in the third round of the national competition.

Scores from Arun Thompson (two), debutant Max Wilson, Mike Watts, Ollie Harcus, Will Bell, Andy Gray and Andy Carvell - along with 18 kicked points from Bell - saw them into the regional quarter-final.

They will now visit league rivals Tunbridge Wells – a side that have won all 14 games in London 2 South East so far this season – in the last eight on February 27.

They are just four wins from a dream final at Twickenham after avenging a disappointing defeat to rivals Thanet in the league just two weeks ago.

Horsham coach Nick Stocker felt it was a more Horsham-like display and highlighted their strength in depth, having won the match with a number of first-team players missing.

He said: “In all honesty, there was more frustration from two weeks prior as at times we have not quite managed to click this season, but Saturday we did.

“We played to the standard that the guys are capable of, the power and accuracy they are capable of, in a reversal of the league game, and it was a stark contrast.

“The guys played well and to the standard they can execute. It was age old Horsham if you like, they have got the ability and skill set to do well in this league and even the next league above, eventually.

“But it is about testing themselves and almost having that bit of arrogance that they can do it.

“What was really encouraging with the Thanet score is that a few players came into the first team for the game. We still have them to come back in, so it shows a good squad strength.”

Horsham started at a fast past, determined to improve on the previous defeat against their hosts.

They led 32-7 at half-time, with the score against them coming in added time, but despite having the wind in the second half, Thanet could not turn the tide.

Meanwhile, Stocker is not looking forward to a potential final at the home of rugby.

He said: “That’s the quarter-finals now and there are eight teams left in there and they are all tough teams that are all there or thereabouts at the top of their leagues. I think we’re one of the lowest placed teams left in the competition.

“Tunbridge Wells is again a typically tough game.

“At the end of the day we are not going to get carried away, but you can look from the other angle that Bromley, who finished sixth in our league last year and we beat them convincingly twice, yet they went on to win the cup, so it can happen.

“It left the players frustrated that Bromley won it and we did not.

“It’s four games from Twickenham, but there is a long way to go. It’s exciting, but there is a lot of work to do.”

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