A dream come true as South West London Chargers won their first ever Tetley’s Challenge Cup tie.
Chiswick side through to second round of Challenge Cup
Skipper Adam Tran admitted it was a dream come true as South West London Chargers won their first ever Tetley’s Challenge Cup tie on Saturday.
The Chiswick rugby league side were only formed two years ago, following a merger between West London Sharks and South London Storm.
Winning the Harry Jepson Trophy in their first full season earned them the right to play in the early rounds of the Challenge Cup, where they met Welsh champions Torfaen Tigers.
A tight contest at Chiswick RFC was ultimately decided by tries from Terance Puna and David Wojciechowicz, much to the delight of Tran.
He said: “It was absolutely amazing. Two years ago I’d never have thought we’d be here. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and the guys.
“It was a very scrappy game, and the conditions weren’t ideal. It could have gone either way – fortunately it went our way. It came down to who was the better team on the day.”
The tie meant Chargers returning to action three months earlier than they normally would have, but chairman Cameron Paul was not complaining.
He added: “It was a great day for the club. I said this was going to be a celebration of last season and then we’ll start afresh, but now we’ve got to wait a couple of weeks and play another game.
“I was a bit nervous as we haven’t played for five or six months, and you could tell there was a lot of rustiness. I think the Challenge Cup has attracted people. We normally don’t start training until the end of March.
“We’ve built a club here where guys are mates outside of it, they socialise together and that’s what we wanted, a club where guys could have fun, meet new people and play a bit of rugby league. I think success comes from that.”
Nathan Coughtrey nailed one of his conversions and hit the post with the other, and added a late penalty as well to give Chargers a commanding lead, before Tigers grabbed a converted consolation try with the last play of the game.
To make the day all the more special, the Challenge Cup itself was brought down to Dukes Meadow.
Meanwhile, Chargers have been drawn at home again in the second round, to either Saddleworth Rangers or Milford Marlins, with the tie to be played over the weekend of February 22-23.