Perth RFC U15's v Chippenham RFC U15's - The 5th Leg!!
After a lengthy journey, it was great to arrive in Perth and be hosted by a great team but Chippenham finished as winners 31-67.
It was sunny in Scotland!! - (That needs a paragraph all on its own)
Chippenham had a squad of 27 players and this was nearly matched in numbers by the Perth side who had been warming up purposely on a lovely flat pitch in the centre of town. As tends to be the way with touring sides, Chippenham were a bit slow in the warm-up and needed a bit of time to switch on. It was also pleasing to see a local association Referee who had come along to officiate which meant that poor Colin wouldnt have a chance to get his whistle out... Anyway, both sides readied themselves for what some had deemed as England v Scotland, national pride and all that although that wasn't the case really.... The game was to be played as 3 periods of 20 minutes with rolling subs which suited both teams perfectly.
When the whistle blew to start the match, Chippenham looked like they were still on the coach and started very slowly. This poor start allowed a determined Perth to score the first try and get the conversion 7-0 and our Scottish friends were well up for this. Chippenham started to compete and put in some good tackles but then a loose pass 'The balls like a bar of soap' and Perth go and score again. No conversion so 12-0. Chippenham finally woke up and used the backs for Josh to sprint down the wing like 'a demented ferret up a wee drainpipe' and score a try although he nearly managed to trip over his boot laces as he crossed the line! Alex took the kick and made a great conversion leaving it at 12-7.
Perth showed some excellent skills and were pretty fired up with the awakened Chippenham and opted for a chip over the top, which got a good bounce and they scored. The extras were taken and they stretched the lead to 19-7. A few choice words were had amongst the Chippenham team and from the next scrum, Ben W picked and went off on a bullocking run before offloading to the supporting Joel and he laid on a perfect pass to Josh who scored his second. Alex was very unlucky with the kick and it was now 19-12. The Referee blew for the end of the first period and both teams took a well earned rest.
Chippenham made wholesale changes and the start of the second period saw them add loads more pace on the ball and show real determination. As a result of creating space out wide, Will scored a fantastic try in the corner. No conversion 19-17. Both teams were now totally committed and no quarter was given although some of the rucking was a bit iffy and the Referee ended up giving some strong words of advice and Hugo a yellow for a high tackle... 10 minutes on the sidelines and lots of jeers from his team mates!! Even though Chippenham were down to 14, the next attack saw the backs run riot and after Dobbie threw at least 10 dummies as 'he played like a runaway bullet' and he scored a great try under the posts. He also converted and Chippenham were finally in front by 19-24. Great service from scrum half George and Dobbie repeats the tricks but this time passes out to Will who scores. Dobbie kept his 100% kicking record and it was now 19-31. Chippenham were now getting into the groove and next a great cross field kick from Dobbie was taken well by Will and he charged through the determined Perth defence to score a nice try in the corner. No conversion so 19-36. Perth were not out of this game and produced some excellent attacks, with one that was certain to produce a try if it wasn't for the great tackle by Tom P who 'was as cunning as a bag o' weasels' and bundled the winger into touch 5 meters from the Chippenham line. The throw in was taken cleanly and Chippenham marched back upfield with Ben B, Jake and Archie leading the charge before Tom C set off on a carving run and offloaded to Will. He was almost through the defensive line and was only halted by an excellent tap tackle. However this wasn't going to stop Will and he sprang up 'like a trout up a burn', regathered the ball and sprinted to the line to score!! Dobbie got the extras and at the end of the excellent second period it was now 19-43.
More changes made and players rested but at the start of the final period, Perth were the ones who came straight back and scored an excellent try but missed the kick. 24-43. It was now Chippenham on the attack and a sweeping move by the backs with Elliott, 'as slippery as a Salmon' and Arthur combining well, saw Jack score a very good try out wide. No con so 24-48. Again the backs started to run onto the ball at pace and a great move saw Ben W score on try under the posts, as requested by his Dad!! Alex got the conversion leaving it at 24-55. Next up it was Tom C who showed his pace and power in bouncing off would-be tacklers and score an impressive try down the wing. 'Now I'm no hod carrier but I'd be laying bricks if he was running at me' Alex made the very difficult conversion and 'kicked that ball like it were three pounds o’ haggis!' It was now 24-62.
Perth came back strongly and their strong Centre scored a great try which was converted. 31-62. The final play of an enthralling and highly entertaining match was left to Chippenham and talk about leaving the best to last! The forwards worked hard to create space and Archie saw a gap which he charged through 'like a raging bull with a sore head' Archie might have scored but either ran out of puff or got distracted by the ice cream van but did see the supporting Ben S who sprinted over the line to score the final try which wasn't converted. The final whistle was blown by the excellent Referee and Chippenham had won 31-67 and 'they'll be dancing in the streets of Chippenham!!'
Many, many thanks to the great players and coaches from Perth RFC who contributed to a cracking rugby match and they would be very welcome to come down to Wiltshire for the return leg. Thanks to the Referee who controlled the match expertly and contributed to game in a big way. And finally, well done to the Chippenham lads who had played their last match as U15's and finished off the season in style. Onwards to the U16's...
Oh... a final mention and full credits must go to the wonderful Bill McLaren who was truly the Voice of Rugby and always will be. Thank you.