• Sutton end Tring’s home record of 20 straight wins... huge performance from everyone... well done boys... final score 13-12...
  • A very big THANK YOU to Monica Bradley Associates – our headline sponsors this season...

1st XV

Director of Rugby
Jeff Parsons
07853 882127

John Croysdill
07852 487798

Head Coach
Mike Schmid
07590 258851

Coaching team
Paul Hodgson
James Matthews (S&C)

James Caddy

Latest Match Report

Tring 12 Sutton & Epsom 13
Sutton End Tring’s Domestic Dominance
Sutton & Epsom arrived at Cow Lane in rude good health following not only five consecutive league victories but also the exhilaration of toppling table-topping Wimbledon the previous Saturday. However, the Dorian Williams Sports Ground is not a venue that has proved a happy hunting ground for any Level 5 side since Tring’s return in 2017-18. Unbeaten at home throughout last season, and their colours not lowered this campaign, this was another mighty hurdle to overcome for the Black & Whites. On a very gloomy and blustery afternoon, that threatened rain throughout, the visitors inflicted that rarest of commodities upon the hosts, a home defeat by the slender margin of 13-12.

Tring kicked off with the elements, both topographical and meteorological, in their favour. It was the perfect start to settle the hosts and invigorated their vocal crowd. They won a penalty immediately and Tom Newton stroked it through the uprights for a 3-0 lead. From a recycled ball on halfway Tom Newton lofted the ball. The kick was innocuous but the billowing wind deceived the catcher and the loose ball was secured by the ravenous Tring support. There ensued several minutes of sustained pressure as scrambling defence was replaced by goal line defiance. As the ball was relayed to the right hand corner a thunderous tackle dislodged the ball preventing a try. The ball went forward, knocked on into the in-goal area. Many a player would have dropped on the ball delighted to have a 5-metre scrum to reorganise. But with the vision of a veteran Steve Munford threw out a long pass to under his own posts to initiate a counter. Soon the ball was on the flank and S&E were sweeping down the paddock. Passes interchanged as outstanding support play saw Matt Whitaker gather the ball to gallop home in the final furlong to find the winning post, a try under the posts. A staggering reversal of fortunes as Sam Hurley nonchalantly added the conversion with the background soundtrack of the haranguing tones the Tring Captain berating his team for allowing such an extraordinary score.

In the first quarter both teams set out their stall in terms of miserly defence and impressive organisation. Tom Newton was given a chance to reduce the deficit which he gratefully accepted to make it 7-6 in favour of the visitors. The burgeoning talent of Jacob Knight at 10 received more plaudits in this encounter and his first decisive act was a beautifully placed grubber that set up Sutton with a 10 metre attacking line out. Resolute defence suffocated the Rugby Lane men and earned a turn over. Within five minutes Matt Whitaker exploded through the forwards relishing the open spaces he weaved his way into the Tring half. Jacob Bushnell was on hand and it took a fine tackle to deny the winger. More sustained pressure and yet more sterling defence frustrated the attacking side. Moments later, yet again, countering from deep, Sutton’s pace on the flanks saw them encamped in the Tring 22. But the Hertfordshire men refused to yield.

As the game approached the half hour another Sutton attacking platform led to a penalty that Sam Hurley converted with ease to extend the lead to 10-6. From the restart the home pack did well to regain the ball to initiate an opportunity to press in the 22. Sutton’s defence showed its mettle and having repulsed Tring several times, the ball was speculatively threaded through via the boot for the wing to run on to but it rolled to safety. Soon after, Tom Newton had another opportunity to increase the Tring tally. From a more challenging range he again proved unflappable and, once more, Tring trailed by the narrowest of margins, 10-9.

Matt Whitaker took the restart in spectacular fashion to put S&E on the front foot. However, it was another counter from deep in their own half that saw the Surrey side close to another score. Jamie Wilcock brushed aside tacklers and offloaded to his support but agonisingly the ball hit the turf. Five minutes later it was Groundhog Day but this time Kyren Ghumra running from one 22 to the other but his ambitious pass inside was poached by the covering hosts. The referee brought the pulsating first period to a close with Sutton & Epsom holding a slender 10-9 lead. As both sides retreated to the warmth of the changing rooms the visitors must have felt that with the assistance of the wind and the slope for the second half they were well set for a famous win.

Tring emerged from the starting gate for the second half desperate to retain that hugely impressive home record. And, my word, how well they played. For the next half hour they made light of any disadvantages and dominated territory and possession. The only element that surpassed the magnificent ball retention of the Tring pack was the stoic defence by the visitors as time and again tackles went in and the defence reorganised. It was one of those afternoons when the side on the attack was swamped by defenders and never had the numbers to make the pressure count. The Black & Whites turned it over on their line but could not clear it and eventually Tring were awarded a kick in front of the posts. The strong wind held it up and it floated wide. Relief turned to dismay when the long 22-metre drop out gathered pace and rolled out beyond the dead ball line. The sides returned to the Sutton 22 to scrummage. A couple of phases later and the Cow Lane crowd roared their approval of another penalty awarded. Normal service resumed for Tom Newton and Tring as they led at home 12-10 as the game neared the final quarter.

The Black & Whites just could not get their hands on the ball and only one sortie to the Hertfordshire half led to the frustration of losing an attacking line out 10 metres from the host’s line. The Tring pack with Josh White to the fore controlled possession. Behind the forwards Tom Howard darted right and left and Noah Harris bullocking charges came to nought as the Rugby Lane team tackled tenaciously forcing the Tring side back. With the added feature of the slope never has a side more closely resembled Sisyphus as the Cow Lane men inched towards glory only to be repelled time and again.

With ten minutes remaining Jacob Knight cleared long on the wind and the hoisted return led to confusion in the Tring ranks with men offside paying the ball. Sam Hurley stepped up to take a penalty only just in the home half. With a strong but fluctuating wind it was a challenging kick but the situation of the match added multiple degrees of difficulty. The loyal Rugby Lane on the road regulars roared with delight as he perfectly bisected the uprights. Inspired by retaking the lead the Black & Whites began to dominate. Kyren Ghumra darted down the narrowest of blindsides to touchdown in the corner. However, he had put a foot in touch and the score was rightly ruled out. But the visitors had the consolation of being deep in the opposition 22. It was now the turn of Tring to display disciplined defence as a brace of 5-metre scrums were repulsed. One last possession, one last chance to save their proud home record as the crowd held their breath. As the ball reached halfway the outstanding Jamie Wilcock made yet another tackle and crucially stripped the ball. Sutton kicked the ball off the pitch to secure a very hard fought and creditable victory.

This was a compelling game of rugby where both sides defence was remarkable in its tenacity, organisation and intensity. Hats off to every player on the pitch from one to fifteen on creating such wonderful theatre. Also a deferential tug on the forelock to both sets of coaches to produce such disciplined defensive units. In attack Sutton & Epsom looked at their most dangerous countering from depth and utilised their flare and pace out wide with Messrs Ghumra, Bushnell and Wilcock making telling breaks. However, it was Matt Whitaker who reminded one and all what a special talent he possesses with a rampaging performance. Tring’s second half response was superb and considering the conditions their ability to retain the ball was mightily impressive. In the end the difference on the scoreboard was a solitary point and the only try was a staggering Sutton score started from behind their own line.

We have reached the midpoint of the season with every opposition met on the field of play. Next Saturday the return fixtures begin as Sutton host CS Stags at Rugby Lane for the last league game of 2018 before the festive break. Earlier in the campaign the Black & Whites won a fluctuating game against the Stags 34-29 at the neutral venue of Rosslyn Park. Saturday’s game will kick off under the floodlights at 3pm and all are welcome to enjoy the rugby for one last time this year… surely a better option than the drudgery of Christmas shopping.

Sutton: Sam Hurley, Jacob Bushnell, Jamie Wilcock, Jamie See, Kyren Ghumra, Jacob Knight, Steve Munford, Alex Mount, Chris Farrell, Raynn Bruce, Matt Harwood, George Drye, George London, James Caddy (capt), Matt Whitaker. Replacements: Andy King, Sam Jones (used) Andrew Ciccarelli (did not play).


1st XV

London & SE Premier

National 3 London & SE Premier 2018-19

Date Competition Opposition Result
1 September League 1st XV v Bedford Athletic H W 49-25
8 September League 1st XV v CS Stags 1863 A W 34-29
15 September League 1st XV v Chingford H L 11-38
22 September League 1st XV v Dorking A W 23-3
29 September League 1st XV v Sidcup H W 31-30
6 October League 1st XV v Hertford A L 3-31
20 October League 1st XV v Tunbridge Wells H L 18-32
27 October League 1st XV v Shelford A W 26-19
3 November League 1st XV v Westcliff H W 22-19
17 November League 1st XV v Guildford A W 23-12
24 November League 1st XV v Brentwood H W 38-24
1 December League 1st XV v Wimbledon H W 36-14
8 December League 1st XV v Tring A W 13-12
15 December League 1st XV v CS Stags 1863 H
5 January League 1st XV v Chingford A
12 January League 1st XV v Dorking H
19 January League 1st XV v Sidcup A
26 January League 1st XV v Hertford H
9 February League 1st XV v Tunbridge Wells A
16 February League 1st XV v Shelford H
2 March League 1st XV v Westcliff A
9 March League 1st XV v Guildford H
23 March League 1st XV v Brentwood A
23 March League 1st XV v Wimbledon A
6 April League 1st XV v Tring H
13 April League 1st XV v Bedford Athletic A
View the League Table