Chippenham do tasty double over Bassett
Many thanks to our Winger and esteemed match reporter, Dan Carter who writes his last report before heading to New Zealand.
A final match report this season from Dan Carter before he jets off to New Zealand on his adventures. We will all miss him, albeit just for this season!
Chippenham picked up another bonus point win in a game of, umm - three thirds?? After a cagey first fifty-odd minutes, the final half hour was one typical of an All Blacks’ final 30 - one where Chippenham’s preceding intensity eventually became too much for the visiting Royal Wootton Bassett to handle. It was a game of four yellow cards, even more forward passes, and a brace of trys from debutant Louis Ayliffe.
The first half began with Chippenham having the lion’s share of possession and territory. After an early missed attempt at goal from RWB, Chippenham attacked with variety and pace earning them promising positions. An excellent break from Charlie Palmer was continued when Aaron Ascott picked up the offload and sent territory deep into the Bassett 22. After taking multiple quick tap penalties - marching Bassett back by at least half of the pitch - it was clear it was only going to be a matter of time before Aaron Clark got his name on the scoresheet and after extended phases of Chip possession, he went over for the first of the day. 7-0 Bassett’s response was solid, with the share of the ball swinging to the away side. A couple of penalties, a Chip yellow card and a first try for RWB, and the balance was seemingly in Bassett hands with the score at 7-11. However, a rampaging post-scrum carry from Charlie Palmer set up a quick ball ruck that allowed the boys to score an excellent second phase try - one where the ball was fired through the back line for debutant Ayliffe to finish with class on his right wing. With a rare Wainwright miss, the half ended with a point separating the teams at 12-11.
The second half began with as much cage as Bristol Zoo!... There was a yellow card for driving past ruck - Charlie Newman, a disallowed try for Brad Doggett - forward pass, a yellow card for repeated infringement - Lewis Surry and also a yellow card for the Wootton Bassett open-side flanker. It took a Dan Wainwright penalty to truly settle Chippenham’s nerves. 15-11. It took until both teams returned to 15 men before the next score. Many phases of Chippenham possession with promising pitch positions came to nothing for various reasons, knock-on, turnover, you name it! However, after a fair bit of patience, and some strong forward carries, the ball was ripped out wide for Ayliffe to get his second debut try - and with another brilliant finish! Chip’s next try followed shortly afterwards - a sharp midfield Surry brother combination from a penalty 5 metres out, put the ball in Will Waddington’s hands on the wing to finish Chippenham’s bonus point try. The scoring did not stop there! A line-out to the back was picked up by Matt Dickens, who carried. Quick reloads forced Bassett to commit penalties. Further carries from Ed Hendy, Baci Wilson, Gareth Angell and eventually Palmer meant Chippenham picked up their fifth try of the day. With Wainwright’s three excellent second half conversions, the score became 36-11. Further progressions up the pitch after the try meant another excellent move resulting in Doggett going over for Chippenham’s sixth, however this final move was judged to be a forward pass by the referee and as the clock was in the red, signaled the end to another feisty derby.
In a similar match to the away fixture, Chippenham’s superior fitness was once again evident. And in true All Black fashion, Chip waited until the final half hour before taking full advantage of this trademark edge - one that is worked at every not-too-dark-for-much-longer Tuesday night! And talking of New Zealand, I’m off there now which has given me a rather good excuse for probably being dropped in favour of our double try debutant - Louis Ayliffe!!
Chippenham’s next fixture follows the Easter break on Wednesday 4th April for Wednesday Night Lights at Allington Fields. 7.30pm KO. It marks the beginning of this year’s Bath Combination Cup campaign, and is against last year’s Plate winners, Oldfield Old Boys RFC, and will be for a place at the Rec in Bath. Best of luck to the boys, and I look forward to hearing the club’s progression over the final few weeks of the season as it happens.