Bicester travelled to Chinnor looking to build on the last week’s good win. What we saw, although a loss, was a fully committed squad of players who kept going and applying pressure on a very good Chinnor squad. The match was split into three 20 minute games to allow a variety of changes to be made.
The first game saw Bicester exert some early pressure which should have resulted in a score but Bicester were held up just short. Both teams were playing fast open rugby and Chinnor made a couple of breaks but Bicester cover defence held firm. Following a scrum near the Bicester line a loose ball was pounced on by Chinnor for the first score 0 – 5. Bicester started to win some good ruck ball but the Chinnor defence did not allow the Bicester backs much time or space. From another loose ball Chinnor picked up and their winger went through a tackle before going on an arcing run to score wide out 0 – 10. Bicester again came back and started making some inroads into the Chinnor half but just could not make the decisive break. Chinnor then capitalised on some poor tackling to again get on the outside for the wing to score a further two tries one of which was converted 0 – 22.
The second game saw a Bicester side that just wanted to go forward with the ball and immediately started applying pressure in the Chinnor half. A defensive kick out was picked up by Dan W who with a series of devastating hand-offs ran in to score from the halfway 5 – 0. From the kickoff Bicester were straight back and Adam, making his first start for Bicester, picked the ball up from the base of a ruck to gain 20 yards through a determined run. Support was close behind and from the resulting ruck the ball came back for Josh to go over which Christian converted 12 – 0. Bicester were now playing almost all of the rugby in the oppositions half. The ball came out to Ben L who put a clever kick through but was just unable to gather as he crossed the line. From the resulting Chinnor scrum the ball was won against the head and Mark picking up at No.8 stormed over with Dan W converting 19 – 0.
The third game was close with both sides trying to make the most of any opportunity. Bicester again drove forward at rucks and mauls winning vital ball. And when Chinnor did attack they had Dan T covering fast across the field to stop them. Both teams plugged away until near the end again the Chinnor winger found the outside to run in two tries 0 – 10.
Over the three games the final score was 19 – 32 and Bicester can be proud of a committed performance where the forwards were particularly impressive. The fact that 5 tries came from the Chinnor winger pace going on the outside of the Bicester defence, usually a strong point for us, shows that just a small improvement in our defensive alignment could have made a difference. Well played to the whole squad especially to Adam on his debut and Ethan on his return from long injury (Squad: Josh, Garin, Alfie, Tom B, Jamie, Max, Ashley, Dan T, Adam, Dan B, Mark, Christian, James, Ben L, Rhys, Tom C, Cameron H, Dan W, Ed, Benjamin, Callum and Ethan)