A hard fought encounter.
U13 -Chippenham RFC v Cleve RFC
1st April 2012 at Chippenham RFC
Report by Howard Allbrook
Chippenham U13’s succumb to 24-38 loss against Cleve in a hard fought and thrilling encounter.
Chippenham took to the pitch having won 8 of their last 9 games and looked to stretch themselves further with a friendly against a high flying and powerful looking Cleve.
With the pack looking short on rerserves and a pitch like bell metal this game was going to be hard on bodies and test the resolve, bravery and commitment of both sides.
It was Cleve that made the best start building a commanding 28-7 lead going in to half time. However we have learnt never to write off this Chippenham squad and a spirited fight back saw the boys close the gap but despite winning the second half they were unable to close the gap and the game closed 38-24 to Cleve.
Well done to both sets of boys, a heroic display given the ground conditions and there were the inevitable scuffed joint or two, together with a few other heavier knocks. Not least of all to Lewis Saliba who suffered a serious knee injury as he grappled for the line to close the deficit in the dying moments of the game. Best wishes for a speedy recovery Lewis.
Match Day Squad
Early exchanges looked promising for Chippenham having contained the Cleve kick off they worked their way into the visitors 22. A penalty line out put them in a commanding position but Cleve poached the ball, cleared their lines and forced a scrum on half way. Quick ball from the set play split the Chippenham defence and Cleve were over for their first converted try, 0-7.
The visitors maintained the momentum from the restart taking the ball deep into the Chippenham half. But indiscipline gave the hosts two penalties in quick succession with Tom Tennant finding space off the second to break to half way and offloading to Dan Carter to run in and convert to level the scores, 7-7.
With a quarter of the game played it looked evenly matched. Cleve had other ideas though with two quick converted tries putting the home side well and truly on the back foot with 10 minutes of the half remaining, 7-21.
A vital tackle by Mat Dunn prevented a fourth and steadied the ship. Chippenham rallied with probing runs from Sean Johnson, Ollie Wood and Dan Carter testing the Cleve defence. A Cleve lineout on half way was snaffled by Alex Atack and the backs set out on promising foray but the visitors stood firm forcing a turnover and breaking out for another long range try. Not beaten Chippenham continued to attack but were unable to reduce the arrears to close the half 7-28.
Chippenham returned to the pitch with resolve and a strong early drive aided by Cleve indiscipline saw the boys within inches of a score but a determined rearguard defence turned the ball over to thwart Chippenham’s endeavour. Cleve eased the pressure for a short while but the home side were soon pushing them back once more. Chippenham strung together a set of promising phases but Cleve ripped possession and cleared. Sam Ryan collected and took it back to them, Jamie Adair picked it up on half way and seeing space stuck his head down, shrugged of tackles and made for the line, scoring under the posts for Dan Carter to add the extras, 14-28.
Cleve responded quickly with two further breakout tries from distance to take the score to 19-38 with 10 minutes remaining. The game looked over but Chippenham bounced back again disrupting opposition ball and when a well placed kick from Sean Johnson was picked up by Dan Carter the centre powered his way through the defence to score a hat-trick, 24-38.
With the clock counting down Chippenham threw everything at Cleve again forcing penalties and making good ground. Alex Atack turned over another Cleve line out to take the ball within 10m of the line. In the final play of the game Lewis Saliba took the ball from a penalty and drove for the line with defenders hanging off him he was unlucky not to have a try awarded for his efforts. The game finished with a deserved win for Cleve quenching a valiant Chippenham fight back, 24-38
Home Chippenham RFC: 24
Tries: D Carter: 3 (13, 43, 56) J Adair (37)
Conversions: D Carter: 2 (14, 38)
Drop Goals: 0
Cleve RFC: 38
Tries: 6 (8, 16, 18, 26, 47, 51,
Conversions: 4 (9, 17, 19, 27)
Drop Goals: 0