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1st XV - Match centre

T Foden, R Craven, R Craven, S Farrar
I Jones
J Morris, J Morris
Sat 3 Feb 15:00 - RFU National - National League 2 North Full time

Chester RFC 24 - 5 Sheffield RUFC

Sheffield get lost in a sea of mud!

Chester RFC 24 - 5 Sheffield RUFC

Team Selection for Saturday, 3rd February 2018

15. Fergus Wood
14. Jamie Pearson
13. Will Fairclough
12. Frankie Robson
11. Gareth Morley
10. Matt Law
9. Steve Depledge

Chester v Sheff
39 photos

1. Ben Whitney
2. Ianto Jones
3. Dan Rylance
4. Dom Parsons (Capt)
5. Dave Clayden
6. Tom Womack
7. Sean Casey
8. Gareth Burns

24. Tommy Marples (FR)
20. Sam Graham (FR)
21. Dale Hobson (FR)
19. Jonny France
17. Lewis Bowman

The great win at home against South Leicester should have been the springboard to kick start the season’s revival, but Sheffield found themselves stuck in the mud. Literally. Rarely in the modern era have I seen a pitch in such a poor condition. The pitch at Wharfedale two weeks previously was bad, but they had the excuse of having to shovel nearly 4 inches of snow off it in the morning before the match. However, Chester RFC are on the Cheshire plan and generally do not suffer the vagaries of the weather that we teams under the shadow of the Pennines or in some cases, actually on them. The pitch was a complete mud bath and Sheffield suffered the fate of several other clubs this season at the hands of Chester RFC. Apparently, they are due to get a new artificial pith for next season, which will not be a day to late and will require a complete rethink of how they play their rugby.

However, you can take nothing from them, they combined forwards with their backs and appeared to glide over the ground in a way that Sheffield could only dream of doing. They kicked intelligently and pilled heaps of pressure on Sheffield’s defence. And were duly rewarded after just six minutes when their full back Tom Foden went over for the first score. Fly half Josh Morris failed with the not overly difficult conversion, but Chester led by 5 points to nil.

Sheffield did however, battle back and looked capable of getting to grips with the conditions, but a knock on in attack on Chester’s 22 led to a Chester breakout and attack and a penalty with Sheffield scrambling back. Chester took a scrum for the penalty and moments later their scrum half, Richard Craven had gone over wide out on the right. Josh Morris added the conversion and Chester led by 12 points to nil after 17 minutes. However, Sheffield battled back and pressured the Chester defence which hung on as Sheffield conspired to turn ball over in promising positions. However, Sheffield were rewarded after Chester gave away a series of penalties that saw Sheffield with a line out on the Chester 5 metre line. Sheffield secured the ball and drove for the line, with hooker Ianto Jones going over wide out on the left. Steve Depledge missed the conversion, but Sheffield had reduced the deficit to 12 points to 5 after 29 minutes. Sheffield had the better of the remaining ten minutes of the half, but Chester’s defence held firm keeping the visitors scoreless and very frustrated at half time.

The conditions were such that both sides changing their shirts at half time, with Sheffield changing to red and Chester to blue. Chester came out more focused than Sheffield and were soon on the attack and two back to back penalties saw them firmly on the attack just outside Sheffield’s five metre line. Chester were awarded a penalty advantage at the line out and moments later scrum half Richard Craven had scored his second try, this time under the posts. Fly half Josh Morris added the conversion and the lead was out to 19 points to 5after just 4 minutes of the second half. Sheffield regrouped and battled back and for long periods of time were camped in Chester’s 22, and on their 5-metre line, but Chester’s defence was resolute. The game may have turned on 53 minutes when Chester tried to run out of defence and centre |Will Fairclough made a better than average effort at intercepting just out side the 22, but unfortunately, as he took the ball a defender managed to dislodge the ball and Chester had a scrum.

During the nest 20 minutes Sheffield more than matched Chester in every area, but the Chester defence, particularly on their try line, was immense and all Sheffield’s efforts came to nought. The with barely five minutes to go, Sheffield intercepted again, this time through replacement winger, Lewis Bowman, but the ball was subsequently lost and Chester broke out of defence and ran the length of the field to score through replacement Sam Farrar. Josh Morris missed the conversion, but Chester had a 24 point to 5 lead and that is how the game finished with Sheffield muddied and bloodied and extremely disappointed.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: 1x1 rip

Key moments

Try Tom Foden scores for Chester
Try Richard Craven scores for Chester
Conversion Josh Morris kicks a conversion for Chester
Try Ianto Jones scores for Sheffield
Try Richard Craven scores for Chester
Conversion Josh Morris kicks a conversion for Chester
Try Sam Farrar scores for Chester

Videos and photos

Chester v Sheff
39 photos
Chester v Sheff


View 0 new events
75:30 Missed Conversion
Josh Morris misses a conversion for Chester
75:00 Try 24 - 5
Sam Farrar scores for Chester
44:30 Conversion 19 - 5
Josh Morris kicks a conversion for Chester
44:00 Try 17 - 5
Richard Craven scores for Chester
End of period 1
29:30 Missed Conversion
Steven Depledge misses a conversion for Sheffield
29:00 Try 12 - 5
Ianto Jones scores for Sheffield
17:30 Conversion 12 - 0
Josh Morris kicks a conversion for Chester
17:00 Try 10 - 0
Richard Craven scores for Chester
6:30 Missed Conversion
Josh Morris misses a conversion for Chester
6:00 Try 5 - 0
Tom Foden scores for Chester
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Chester
  • Sheffield
  • 0
  • Tom Foden Try 6:00'
  • Richard Craven Try 17:00'
  • Josh Morris Conversion 17:30'
  • Ianto Jones Try 29:00'
  • Richard Craven Try 44:00'
  • Josh Morris Conversion 44:30'
  • Sam Farrar Try 75:00'

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
10. Sheffield Tigers 30 59
11. Leicester Lions 30 58
12. Otley 30 58
13. Wharfedale 30 56
14. Blaydon 30 53
15. Luctonians 29 52
16. Sheffield 29 37

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