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Relentless

The 1st XV opened their account for 2022 last Saturday and this Saturday have their first home game since way back on 4th December.  All four senior men's teams are scheduled to play this Saturday and on Sunday the place will be rammed with the Mini's hosting Cranleigh in the morning and then in the afternoon the pitches awash with Junior teams - boys and girls - sharpening their skills ahead of their next round of Cup games while the U18 Girls host a combined Dorking/Old Ruts team for a cup game (KO 2.00pm).  There are a number of Junior teams away that day as well - notably the Academy at Richmond for their Quins Cup game (12.30 KO).  Go well boys!

The last time a weekend in January was this busy was in 2020!  And yet we are still here, bigger and stronger than ever and looking forward to relentless rugby for the next few months.

Hurrah!

"A good brand of rugby"

So said Medway RFC about us in their match report from last week's encounter away at Rochester.  We lost 35-15 but by all accounts, the game was pretty even for the first half after which perhaps this experienced London 1 side applied the rugby nous and cunning required to win at this level. You may recall this pattern of play and final outcome was heralded in our game at London Welsh.

No matter the brand we play, a win is long over due and we have as good a chance as any against Hammersmith and Fulham this Saturday.  Bar a couple of breakaway tries, we ran them close 19-10 at their place back in October and, as they currently sit fourth in the league, their scalp would be much prized.

The full match day experience begins with the Supporters Lunch hosted by the Chairman and, all being well, the President.   All members, friends and supporters are invited.  We'll gather at 12.15 to sit at 12.30 to finish in time for the 2.00pm kick off.

To book your seat(s) please email chairman@farnhamrugby.org.

To enjoy the hot meal followed by cheese and coffee, diners must enter the raffle as usual. However, with rising costs, we've had to put the price up and are changing the logistics to reflect the cashless world we now live in (not to mention saving a few quid on bank charges).

The price of lunch is now £20 per head and diners must pay at the bar with a bank card and thus receive their ticket for the raffle of a number of fabulous goodies that concludes the lunch.

On Saturday the Vikings (2s) host Esher Abbots (their 3s) at Monkton Lane while the Warriors (3s) travel to Old Whitgiftians and the Barbarians (4s) to Chichester.  All KO at 2.00pm.

Fit, healthy and fun!

Highlighting how your club has a lot more to offer than rugby, we recently reported on the presentation by ex-Royal Marine and Elite Sports Psychologist Scotty Mills to a large audience of our teenagers on the subject of leadership.

In similar vein, our Academy, U14s and U12s (some pictured above) have completed a year long engagement with the Harlequins Foundation's "Ahead of the Game" programme. The programme - largely sponsored by the Movember Charity for which the club raised over £50K last year - runs workshops and other resources to help people on both sides of the conversation - young and old - to talk openly about their mental and physical health.

The class continues

Last week, I was delighted to share a photo from the Girls' U13 side that was a master class in determined counter rucking.  Here the girls reverse the roles with an excellent demonstration of presenting the ball while keeping the oppo at bay.

Last Sunday, a fabulous team effort witnessed a see-saw game against Cobham swing Farnham's way in the second half. Farnham were quick out of the blocks taking a 0-20 lead only to be pegged back by Cobham. With 15 minutes to go and the score 20-25 the girls raised the intensity at the breakdown, forcing errors by Cobham which we then capitalised on to score a further six tries!. 
 
Player of the Match Chloe Calder was instrumental in the change of fortune in the second half whilst centre pairing Ettie Hardcastle and Scarlett Glover each bagged a hat trick.

U15Bs let it go...not for the first time this season, it was a game of two halves as the U15Bs travelled to Stoke Park to take on Guildfordians. Part of the explanation lies in the sloping pitch which Farnham used to our advantage in the first half as Julius Uprichard went over thanks to a wide pass from Will Donoghue. The second try came from great clear-out work from Alex Brown and Louis Scoular to set up Dougie Brown for the score and go into the break at 10/0.

The second half was a different story as the forwards fell off the pace leaving the back line to pick up the pieces and put in the tackles (as illustrated). As a result our defensive line was breached on three occasions. Final score 15/10 to the hosts


Another "master class" photo from an U13 player.

Run with the ball in both hands!

The photo was well taken by U13 Mum Mandy Lanning during the team's victory over Dorking on Sunday.  The U13s had three teams out on the day and, unsurprisingly on this evidence, recorded further wins over Old Reigatians and Harlequins Amateurs.

Loving your work!  

And finally.....

All this rugby requires two things - people to make it happen and ground on which it can happen.

On those subjects, I give you two "heads-up" notices. 

One: On Monday 7th February, the best appointed amateur clubhouse in Farnham (and way beyond!) will, yet again, host the annual Farnham Sports Council awards.  We have contenders for Volunteer and Coach of the Year, so fingers crossed for a "home win"!

Two:  The club leadership is engaged day-in day-out in the search for more grounds that we can call our own and that are within striking distance of the club house - and/or the means to lay an artificial pitch that can take the "relentless" pounding .  There can be no doubt that (a) we need them and (b) the benefit they would bring to Farnham's sporting community as a whole.  We know this story but its time everyone in Farnham - particularly those that influence local planning and development decisions - got to know it too.  We're going to make it easy for everyone to tell that story - powerfully and accurately - to anybody willing to listen.  Watch this space.

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