Rams 38 Esher 21, National League 1, Saturday September 3
A spirited fightback was not enough to rescue Esher from defeat on the opening day of the new campaign.
Promoted last season after winning Division Two South, they know much more will be expected this time and were given an extra reminder by the Sonning-based side, who were 28-7 ahead by half time.
Rams were already ahead in the second minute, a rolling maul setting up Alex Kalling-Smith to force his way past three challenges and over the line, Alex Seers converting.
Esher were pressing on 17 minutes when Henry Bird made an interception before sprinting 70 yards for the second try, fly-half Seers again on target to make it 14-0.
It got worse four minutes later as Charlie Robson notched the third, again converted, but Ben Robbins hit back on 27 minutes, scoring on the left, for Esher's opening try at their new level. Sam Morley notched the conversion for 21-7.
Rams were soon back in charge, though, securing their bonus point before the interval through a pushover try – underlining their superiority of their pack – and Seers adding the rest for 28-7.
The fly-half's excellent display continued in the second half as excellent footwork created space for him to score the fifth try and then convert it as well.
Rams offered the visitors some daylight by having two players sent to the sinbin – the second leading to a penalty try – and Robbins added his second converted score to narrow the gap.
A Seers penalty ensured Rams had the final word and Esher will aim to get off the mark when they entertain Surrey rivals Rosslyn Park at Molesey Road on Saturday at 3pm.
By Richard Spiller
See 1st XV and Esher Cardinals Match in photos by Paul Downs https://www.pauldowns42.com/Sport/Rugby/Esher-Rugby-2022-23-Season/Rams-38-21-Esher-Rugby-Sept-2022