Clinical Chiefs conquer Swanage
In a first half blitz of power and precision, Chippenham blew away the opposition to clinch the Dorset and Wilts Plate.
Travelling over an hour and a half towards the South coast, the Chiefs could have been forgiven for going into holiday mode. The sun was shining bright, the seagulls could be heard over head and the beach was a short drive away. Despite having all these distractions to deal with Chippenham produced arguably the most devastating 12 minutes of rugby this season. Pace, power and accuracy all combined perfectly to score 7 tries within the first 12 minutes. Straight from the kick off, the chiefs looked dangerous, going through the phases making yards with each carry. The forwards, being bossed around by Will Dowling at 9, were dominating at the break down and using the tiger ball to great effect and when Dowling released the backs Theo Malik and Hugo P used their power to open up the defence. Having worked their way down the field the first score came when James Lamacraft, usually a full back, found himself at the base of the ruck and picked blind to squeeze in at the corner. The second try quickly followed, again from the restart Chippenham did not give up possession. Strong carries from Warwick Blackmore and Liam Smith allowed clean ball for Dowling to hit Malik, a strong run from the Chippenham fly half and a sublime offload found Tom Thornton screaming down the wing and the pacey winger did the rest. The third involved some fine interplay between backs and forwards with Hugo creating big holes in the opposition defence and with quick ball Dowling found Harry Mcloughlin who weaved his way over the try line. Despite being three tries up so quickly, Chippenham did not take the foot off the gas as the fourth came quickly after. With Swanage in possession the Chippenham defence, being led by Dowling and Smith, were not allowing any room for them to play. A great counter ruck by Simon Ivory, Jack Shuker, Harry Morgans and Ben Cooke led to a turn over and with Pete Cooke at 10 the ball was spread down the back line where Mcloughlin drew the last defender before setting Thornton free to score his second of the match. Having seen the backs have all the fun the Chiefs forwards felt it was there turn to get in on the try scoring act. Having moved from fly half to second row Theo Malik was able to grab 2 tries of his own backing up the strong work from the forwards he found space around the fringes to dot down twice. The final try of the match came from a trade mark run from Will Causer who used his pace and power to break free of numerous defenders before being dragged down close to the line. The actual try scorer will remain a mystery as I was unable to see who put the ball down over the line. An extremely clinical display of rugby from the Chiefs, with every player doing the basics right and very few mistakes made. Some very happy coaches and possibly even a hint of a smile on coach Nigels face.