Chippenham back to winning ways in tough conditions
On another typical January afternoon, the boys in red returned to winning ways, and on away turf! Thanks to Mr Dan Carter for the report.
Despite a few regulars missing, howling headwinds and two early tries from the respected and edgy Oxfordshire outfit, Chippenham produced a bonus point victory securing their position at 3rd place in the SW 1 East division.
Returning captain, Ryan Surry - playing at scrum half - won the toss and elected to play into the unrelenting wind that ran parallel to the direction of play. The opening few minutes promised a classic Racing Cow opening first half with minutes of Chippenham possession turning into solid territory gains for the away team. However a few moments of ill-discipline from CRFC combined with clinical kicking and line outs from Grove meant Chip we’re down by ten in as many minutes.
After regrouping behind the posts, the boys vowed to regain composure and after a cool penalty slot from Fly-half, Dan Wainwright, Chippenham levelled the game after slick set piece from the backs and a scintillating run down the left flank by Full Back, Will Waddington, breaking three tackles in the process, with Wainwright adding the extras. Chip’s momentum continued with Charlie Palmer, playing at Eight on Saturday, rampaging over after minutes of sustained pressure in the Grove 22. Within minutes, Chippenham went over again. Solid carries, particularly from the Chippenham front row, put Grove on the back foot, allowing the reds to exploit the space that was inevitably created out wide. Henry Corp - returning from his university studies to have a game with the LADs - followed his own well-delayed pass to finish on the right hand side. The half ended promptly afterwards at 17 points to 20 favouring the away side.
With the words: “the legs feed the wolf” ringing in their ears, from coach and Barbarian, Dale Burn, Chippenham returned to the field aiming to pin the home team in their own half utilising the the strong wind they played against in the first half. This was certainly what played out with many line outs taking place. Excellent fingertip steals from lightning fast flanker Matt Dickens meant that the majority of possession and territory favoured Chippenham. Left winger Brad Doggett, who celebrated his birthday last weekend with the boys in Bristol, particularly enjoyed his second half as it meant “taking advantage of the notably grippier surface on that side of the field...” Also using this lane was Palmer, a little lighter in the pocket after last weekend, who went over for his second and Chippenham’s Bonus Point try! Wainwright, who conducts his team with flair and patience and also relishes the long kicks, slotted the conversion superbly bringing Chip’s tally to 27 points. However, in typical home form fashion, the resilient Grove responded with a flying try from their own half using their numbers and executing some sharp two-on-ones. This sealed their losing bonus point, though the match clock ensured it was just that. The match finished at 22-27 with most players hard to identify due to the amount of mud on kit and faces - emphasis on most, that right Chippenham right winger could get away with not washing his kit for next week’s game...
Speaking at the end of the match, Welsh enigma and coach Burn praised his players, particularly noting “young Dan Wainwright driving the Racing Cows around the field” as well as the boys who stepped up as “tireless and committed.” He also reiterated his number one focus: Chippenham’s belief in high fitness levels. Next week the boys face 13th placed Marlow at Allington Fields, their last game before their “International Break”. After beating them by 17 points in the away leg, the return fixture promises to be an exciting affair with Marlow fighting for survival and Chippenham for promotion.