Chippenham RFC 1stXV 29-24 Oxford Harlequins RFC 1stXV
Very solid performance from Chippenham got them a deserved win against Oxford Harlequins, with the score finishing 29-24.
A very solid performance from Chippenham got them their first home win of the season against Oxford Harlequins, with the score finishing 29-24.
On the day, the whole squad were raring to go and there was a real buzz from the moment the warm up began. The game didn't start quite as planned after Connor Beer got sin binned for a high tackle just minutes in but it did save certain try. Following the sin binning, Quins exploited the man advantage, creating an overlap and scoring out wide. Conversion successful.
Chippenham were quick to react. Although still down to 14 men, the home side were playing with a very high tempo, which proved too much to handle as flanker Ed Hendy crashed through, then pulled a sublime off load out of the bag, finding Ben Hathaway who had a short sprint in to score. Al Mackenzie made good with the conversion.
With Beer back on the pitch, Chippenham were back up to 15 and putting in some huge tackles causing Quins problems at the breakdown. Despite the valiant efforts in defence, Chippenham conceded a second try under the posts which was again successfully converted.
After some great running from Chippenhams pacey back line, Charlie QE was on hand to finish off a lovely team try just before half time. The strong winds proved to make Al MacKenzie’s kicking difficult on the day and was unlucky with this conversion. Half time score 12-14.
The half time chat proved how determined Chippenham were to get the win. Now playing into the wind, everyone knew that the intensity from the first half must continue. Captain Matt Dickens was rewarded with a try after Chippenham stole the ball from a Quins line out. Al Mac was unlucky with the conversion attempt hitting the wrong side of the post.
The home team maintained the intensity with massive tackles going in left, right and centre - Ed Hendy managed to send one of the visitors big runners quite a few metres backwards with an enormous hit. Chippenhams defence held out and deservedly regained possession.
Jacob Unwin got the ball inside the Chippenham half and made one of his trade mark gallops, through the defensive line and up the middle of the pitch to find Ben Hathaway who had the pace to sprint in and get his second try of the match. This secured the bonus point for Chippenham. Al Mac’s kick was successful this time leaving the score sat at 24-14 with just over 20 mins to go.
After being a little too eager, the home side were caught offside in their own half which lead to their lead being narrowed after a successful shot at the posts from the visiting 10.
The ‘finishers’ started to take the field for Chippenham with Charlie Newman, Nat Parkes and debutant Joe Bodman setting foot on the pitch to finish off the game. Oxford were clearly still up for the challenge as they broke through and scored out wide. A difficult conversion slotted evened up the scores as the game entered the last 10 minutes. 24-24.
Some big carries from the home team, noticeably No 8 Charlie Palmer, Will ‘Frenchy’ French and Kieran Atkin got Chippenham into a great position. Sadly the attack came to an end after some foul play from the home sides replacement prop, earning himself a red card. Chippenham had it stacked up against them with 14 players for the final 6 minutes but there was more than enough belief from every player in a Chippenham shirt that they could get the win.
It came in the final play of the match. A 14 man onslaught from Chippenham resulted in Kieran Atkin capitalising on the overlap created by outstanding pace and ball distribution.
A fantastic finish to a brilliant game of rugby between 2 very exciting and capable teams.
Final score - Chippenham 29-24 Oxford Harlequins