Horsham put in dominant display to batter struggling but '˜spirited' Barking

Horsham got 2018 underway with a rampant and emphatic victory over London 2 South East strugglers Barking on Saturday.

Horsham v Pulborough Rugby SR1726114  -Declan Nwachukwu . Pic Steve Robards SUS-171228-110129001
Horsham v Pulborough Rugby SR1726114 -Declan Nwachukwu . Pic Steve Robards SUS-171228-110129001

The Green and Whites were just eight shy of scoring a century of points and climbed up to third in the division.

Barking meanwhile remained rooted to the foot of the table without a point to their name and having conceded 753 points in what is proving to be an extremely testing campaign.

Declan Nwachukwu put down a hat-trick in a dominant display in which Horsham led 47-0 at half-time.

Head coach Nick Stocker said: “It was a good return to league action against a spirited and eager team. The way Barking started did cause some initial concerns as we struggled to get hold of the ball and allowed their big runners to carry well.

“However, after the first ten minutes, we started to get into our stride and the pace and precision of our game proved too much for the larger but slower opposition.

“Credit to Barking who are having a tough season and who never gave up exemplified by a fine passage of play in the 70th minute where two Barking players chased back to tackle and turnover possession when a try was the more likely outcome. We wish them the best for the seasons ahead as they begin their recovery.”

The visitors defended well against some early pressure from Barking and from their first bit of possession, the ball was spun wide from a line-out for a try by Nwachukwu and Joe Wilde added the extras.

Mike Watts then put down two quick tries, both of which were converted by Wilde to take the score to 26-0 after 15 minutes.

Straight from collecting the ball from kick-off, the ball was spun wide to Declan Nwachukwu who ran a circuitous route through defence to score.

Johnny Whiting then touched down following a good break by Jordan Smith, several phases of play then resulted in a good carry by Jake Lowe which was eventually spun wide with Ryan Maguire scoring.

Just before half-time, Max Paterson scored on his debut and with all three of the tries converted, Stocker’s side took a 47-0 lead into the break.

Further tries in the second half came from Nwachukwu (two), Tom Blewitt, Rob Grant (two), Paterson and Callum Luxon as well as another four conversions from Wilde.

Stocker pointed to strong performances and added: “Eliot Mills at nine played his best game to date whipping accurate passes out to his half-back partner Jordan Bell, who distributed well, getting our very dangerous backs into the game with the centre partnership putting the back three into space repeatedly as shown by the fact that our outside backs scored 10 of our 14 tries.

“However, the performances that stood out from the rest and worth the man-of-the-match award were those of Jordan Smith with his selfless running and work rate and Mike Watts with his speed of thought, counter-attacking threat as well as a remarkable knack of both scoring and setting others up.”

Horsham now host Beckenham on Saturday.

Horsham: N.Bell, Lowe, Fairs, Goward, Maguire, Smith, Luxon, Whiting, Mills, J.Bell, Nwachukwu, Blewitt, Wilde, Patterson, Watts. Subs: Cass, Grant.