Young back row player Matt Whitaker made a sensational first start at number eight for Sutton & Epsom on Saturday, scoring a hat-trick of tries.

In the absence of Scott Wallbank and Alex Mockford the teenager may have appeared a fairly lightweight replacement.

But Whitaker more than made up for his lack of bulk with a performance of pace and aggression both in attack and defence, his acceleration over 5m saw him over the gain line before the Chobham defence had time to react.

Another youngster, prop Ashley Williams, also had an impressive performance supporting well he time and again offered himself as ball carrier usually making ground but more importantly showing a growing confidence in his own ability.

When Chobham’s kick off at the start, failed to make the required 10m Sutton were awarded a scrum on halfway, Whitaker picked up and broke passed outside to his scrum half Steve Munford who drew the defence before passing to his full back Louis Parker, he outpaced the defence to score wide on the right. Munford converted and after two minutes Sutton led 7-0.

Chobham although stunned by this early disaster showed fight and for a while they also showed good ball retention starving Sutton of possession but not making much headway against well organised Sutton defence.

Sutton eventually won back the ball and worked a position 5m from the visitors line, they rumbled the ball forward then Whitaker broke off and smashed his way through three Chobham defenders to score midway to the left of the posts. Munford converted.

Sutton were now rampant and within 5 minutes went further ahead. In a move begun wide on Sutton’s left they switched play across the Chobham posts and produced a three man overlap for wing Sam Hurley to snatch the ball from the finger tips of his flanker Felix Symonds and dive in at the corner for an unconverted try.

Hurley also had a hand in Sutton’s next try when he put a long kick ahead down the touch line into the in goal area, two Chobham defenders collided and Sutton’s full back Parker was there to touch down the loose ball for the bonus point try. The conversion attempt went wide.

It was that man Whitaker again who had the last word in the first half, a Chobham attack broke down on halfway when a pass did not go to hand, Whitaker fly-hacked the ball forward and won the race to touch down. Munford converted for Sutton for Sutton to go in at half time 31-0 ahead.

With the strong breeze behind them Chobham made a better fist of the second half and for the opening seven minutes pinned Sutton back but when they lost possession on the Sutton 22, Munford picked up burst clear and sprinted 80m to score under the posts converting his own try.

Sutton then lost flanker Felix Symonds to the sin bin for 10 minutes for stupidly throwing the ball away when Chobham had been awarded a penalty. Chobham took full advantage and showing that they could also produce excellent rugby hammered at Sutton’s line for nearly 10 minutes, showing great ball retention and were eventually rewarded when centre Ollie Guy running a reverse angle shot in to score wide on their right.

Sutton with Symonds restored came straight back and, from a 5m lineout, Munford dummied a pass out wide and then passed to Whitaker travelling at a huge rate of knots who went round the blindside swatted two defenders aside to get his hat-trick with a try wide on the right. The conversion attempt went just wide.

Chobham to their credit did not lose self belief and in the last move of the match centre Ollie Guy put a grubber kick through the Sutton defence the ball stood up perfectly for replacement fly-half Alex Hudson who took the ball at some speed and scored next to the posts.

His full back Liam Monaghan converted with the last kick of the game.

This was a vital five points for Sutton as at moves them another place up the table and gives them breathing space.

Due to the internationals next weekend Sutton have a week off before a tough match at second placed London Irish Amateur on Saturday, November 13. The Exiles are unbeaten at home. Kick off 2.15pm at London Irish ground, The Avenue, Sunbury.