Grand win for CRFC against league leaders - by Dan Carter
Two weeks on from when the scheduled meeting between Chippenham and Old Pateseans was called off for snow, the British weather did its best to threaten another postponement. Despite the tough conditions it was a clinical performance from the boys in black
Two weeks on from when the scheduled meeting between Chippenham and Old Pateseans was called off for snow, the British weather did its best to threaten another postponement. Despite the tough conditions it was a clinical performance from the boys in black and white with a season-defining victory against the visitors from top of the league.
The game began with long periods of Chippenham possession. Relentless recycling of the ball and composure meant steady, but strong gains in territory. Once in the opposing 22, the momentum was overwhelming, when eventually after many phases, the ball was shipped wide to Charlie Palmer who finished under the posts. Pats spent the next 10 minutes at the other end of the pitch with the majority of the possession during which, Chippenham winger Bradley Doggett courageously took a yellow card for Ryan Surry's deliberate knock on... Having been camped on their line since their original try, it took a Pats loose pass and quick thinking from Jacob Unwin to take the scoreline to 14 - nil. After collecting his own hack, Unwin offloaded to lightning Matt Dickens, who returned the ball back to Unwin and then to Sam Saunders who finished the 90 metre try under the posts.
In a similar reply to last time, Old Pats exerted large amounts of pressure on the up to this point unbreakable Chip defensive line. After a few well-foiled driving lineout attempts, it took a particularly dominant scrum from the away side to force a penalty try bringing them to within 7 points. The game then narrowed after a second, though unconverted try from the dominant Pats scrum. Half Time: 14-12 to CFRC.
The second half began with more sustained Chippenham pressure. Sharp hands from every player as well as purposeful carries meant Pats began to struggle with their defensive organisation. A high loose pass bounced over defensive hands and into Doggett hands who shipped to Lewis Surry who tapped down behind the sticks.
Pats responded with another clinical, unconverted scrum try and Chippenham continued to enjoy swathes of possession which generally brought territorial gains. Live reporter Matthew Stephen describing Aaron Clark as a #minibeast, perfectly displays Chippenham’s mindset on the day - clinical and aggressive! An Unwin break very nearly resulted in a try, however instead: a knock-on. Pats’ possession was short-lived, as Doggett, who had been on the lookout all day for an interception, pounced on a looped pass to finish Chippenham’s 4th and bonus point try. Chippenham’s belief that their high intensity rugby, which is always played with pride, would be too much for their opposition to handle. This became more evident as Pats struggled to field a full 15 in the closing few minutes, and the boys continued to press for another.
The final try was a sublime Lewis Surry sidestep, in the right corner with seconds to go on the clock. Having nailed every kick so far and with his parents over from across the Severn, Dan Wainwright continued his fine form with an outstanding kick, judging the swirling conditions to perfection. The conversion, was Chippenham’s thousandth league point, leaving next best league point scorers: Pats, trailing by 110 at 890 points scored and an average of 45 points scored per match!
Speaking after the game, Dale Burn continued to reiterate his coaching ethos of exceptionally high levels of fitness and rugby conditioning. He attributes the fast relentless brand of rugby down to the boys’ self belief, and their willingness to train hard, and learn from previous encounters. He also notes, that despite a few injuries, the boys were still able to produce a performance like Saturday’s.
The result keeps Chip at third place, one point behind Banbury, who do have a game in hand. Next week sees the return derby fixture against Royal Wooten Bassett, who sit at 8th in the table following wins against Wimborne and Bicester. With 4 games to go for the firsts, and everything still to play for, it promises to be an exciting end to a promising season!