Tottonians 34 v 67 Chichester
Chichester enjoyed their first visit in 9 seasons to the Hampshire club and earned another bonus win in a high scoring game. Match report by Roger Gould.
Chichester enjoyed their first visit in 9 seasons to the very friendly Hampshire club and earned another bonus win in a high scoring game. The Blues were much the better team in the second half when they played exhibition rugby and overwhelmed Totts who were missing some key men. Chi scored a total of 10 tries, 7 conversions and a penalty to 4 converted tries and 2 penalties. Sam Renwick scored a hat trick of tries and Henry Anscombe kicked 17 points. For Totts, fly half Prince kicked 14 points. The packs were well matched in scrums and lineouts but in the loose and in the backs play Chi were in command after the interval.
Totts kicked off on a bright afternoon with threat of showers. Chichester immediately attacked and after high kicks they passed quickly for Chris Johnson to almost get to the try line. Penalty awarded and slotted. Full back Tom Hutchin had hurt his ankle in the warm up and was soon replaced by Ed Hillyer who proceeded to have a fine game. Chi conceded two penalties as the Totts’ forwards showed early promise. Their backs passed neatly across to the right wing and a grubber kick resulted in the first try by centre Dolbear. Blues replied with Renwick sending Hillyer across for a try near the corner. Totts kicked a penalty and poor Chichester defence, when a clearance was the best option, allowed Prince to score and convert his own try. 17 - 8 to the hosts. Chi were stung and swarmed forward with Johnson and O'Callaghan carrying. Two good touch kicks by Richard Adams set up position leading to a dummy and break by prop Tom Belcher. HIs pass sent Johnson hurtling over from 15 metres. Converted. Then Anscombe kicked low on the blindside for Hillyer to follow up and score his second try. Converted. 22 - 17 to Chichester at the break.
Chi looked more likely to step up the gears and so it proved but for the next 20 minutes Totts managed to stay in the game. From the restart the Chi backs signalled their pace and good hands, powerful left winger Ben Robson finishing a slick move. Totts tried to get through the midfield but met hard tackles by Jack Arden-Brown, Charlie Wallace and Ben Deavall. Captain Jack Bentall was setting a great example all over the pitch. A highlight arrived when big prop Phil Veltom broke clear and thundered 40 metres roared on by his fan club. A pass to Adams and on to Renwick to score near the left corner. Totts hit back with a penalty for a high tackle followed by an outstanding solo try by inside centre Baptiste who broke three tackles in a run of 70 metres. 34 - 27. Chichester got cracking and now cut to pieces a brittle defence, scoring in quick succession 4 tries by Renwick, Wallace, Renwick again and Johnson. Three were converted. They were all from flowing moves with the silky running of Renwick especially pleasing. 60 - 27. Totts gained a bonus point for a 4th try due to some sloppy defence 5 minutes from the end, scored by Dolbear. Blues were annoyed with themselves and in the last play from off the top of the lineout the dynamic Wallace scored the tenth try and his own second. 67 - 34 to Chichester which puts them second in the league to Medway. For the record, Chi try scorers were Renwick (3), Hillyer (2), Johnson (2), Wallace (2) and Robson. Ryan Boulton made his debut off the bench.
Chichester squad Deavall, Arden-Brown, Veltom, Blount, O'Callaghan, Davies, Wallace, Johnson, Anscombe, Adams, Robson, Bentall (capt.), Renwick, Jackson, Hutchin, Veltom, Boulton and Hillyer.
Chichester must be under no illusions and will want to improve their defence before the big local derby next Saturday. They will play their strong rivals Havant who have also won their two opening matches. The kick-off is 3 pm at Oaklands Park. A large crowd is expected so all Chi supporters are encouraged to get there early! Our thanks to the Tottonians club for their warm hospitality. We know they may be a different proposition in the return game.