Rugby: Hobbs impresses but Tunbridge Wells down to 12 men by the end

Rugby: Hobbs impresses but Tunbridge Wells down to 12 men by the end

AFTER narrowly losing out to high-flying Hertford, Tunbridge Wells endured a tough day at the office against a robust and determined Dorking side in the London & South-East Premier.

The visitors’ pack was under pressure from the outset and home skipper Matt Noble slotted two penalities in the first 10 minutes.

Dorking looked to exploit their forwards’ superiority and stretched their lead with impressive No 8 Harry Watts crashing under the posts.

On 27 minutes Wells were reduced to 14 men when prop Carl Straeche received a yellow card for persistent scrum offences.

Watts scored again to take advantage of the reduction, taking the ball down the blindside and chipping ahead before beating the Wells cover.

The half-time score was 20-0, and though Wells enjoyed the majority of possession after the restart they were thwarted by a well-marshalled defence.

Finally, after 48 minutes Christian Earle found a gap and the athletic forward ran 35 metres before a delightful popped pass to the supporting Max Hobbs saw the wing score on his First XV debut.

Wells suffered a major blow on 57 minutes when the hard-tackling Hayden Pengelly sustained a dislocated shoulder.

Straeche received a second yellow card for dissent after complaining about some careless footwork on the floor and Wells were down to 14.

Dorking extended their lead when a flowing counter-attack allowed wing Olly Rathbone to cross over.

Wells were reduced to 13 when Tom Brunger, making his first start at prop, limped off and the game went to uncontested scrums since the visitors could not replace him.

Dorking’s bonus point try arrived on 78 minutes via Finn Osborne – and Shaydn Osgood received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle, leaving Wells with just 12 men.

With eight minutes of injury time added on, Dorking crossed again through Rathbone.

Another big game looms on Saturday [November 11, 2.30pm kick-off] as Wells host Southend Saxons, who secured their first win of the season.

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