Bognor’s first home outing of the season resulted in a resounding 33-5 win over Petersfield in division one of the Hampshire League.
A vice-president’s league lunch led to a very large vocal support and it was nice to see the past and the future of the club as one in support of a very fast game of rugby.
Bognor’s preparation was spot on – using the feeling of defeat from last week and the healthy nerves of a first home game, Bognor went at Petersfield from the off.
With two penalty decisions and a free-kick which Bognor chose to run, Bognor’s No7 ran a good line, crashing through the defence and gaining 25 metres before being tackled.
The Bognor pack benefitted from the return of Dan Harding at No6 and debutant Like Calleja at loose head, meaning the scrum was solid.
With seven minutes gone a scrum was won, and slick fast ball through hands saw full-back Josh Riggall over in the corner. The extras were added by Lee Shergold.
Bognor went forward at every opportunity and a sweet line run by Josh Burgess in the 22 and under the posts saw a try which was converted.
From the restart, Petersfield’s quick left wing made 40 metres unopposed until the covering full-back tackled him into touch. The lineout was won and a super kick up field chased by quick winger Sam Newcombe resulted in a penalty to Bognor for holding on.
The kick was missed and the counter by Petersfield was dealt with illegally, which resulted in a penalty against. But this was reversed for back-chat.
Bognor’s answer was to kick to touch on the Petersfield 22 and a training-field lineout move saw hooker Graham Broome making 20m before an offload to winger Chris Clair, who crashed the line and converted.
The second half started with Bognor still going forward, and only missed catches prevented scores.
Bognor chased the bonus point but errors were creeping in, and wrong decisions and poor lineout communication meant chances went.
Bulgarian monster prop Angelou was replaced by veteran South African tighthead Armundas Morgan and centre Dan Brock was replaced by younger brother Mitch.
Forced changes did not help, with hooker Broome and second row Chris Barlow going off injured. But a reshuffle in the front row seemed to fire Bognor back into life and a five-metre scrum saw No8 Jack Tomkins pick up and pop to scrum-half Jack Hornibrook, who used his height and weight to crash over for the fourth and the bonus-point try.
Petersfield countered with a 50m run from their full-back, almost unopposed, to score in the corner. Bognor woke again for the last ten and the icing on the cake was a well-worked try by ever-present No7 Dyer, who danced his way across the line with four Petersfield defenders in tow.
It was converted by Reece Goddard and even the removal of full-back Josh Riggall for a yellow card for over-enthusiastic rucking didn’t worry the hosts.
Captain Jack Thomkins and coach Martin Broome agreed this result was a step forward and said technical coaching from experienced coach Rob Outen was paying off.
This week Bognor go to Farnborough.