Chester RUFC 59-12 South Leicester RFC
By Tim Carty
9 try victory
This match was a pretty one sided affair as the score line suggests writes Des Hickie. Chester won by nine tries to two, and the result was a foregone conclusion well before the interval. To be fair South Leicester continued to play until the final whistle, but had no answer to the power, speed and fitness of the home side. The visitors’ scrum achieved a degree of dominance, to the extent that they often chose to take attacking scrums when awarded penalties, in the mostly vain hope that this would provide them with attacking ball to outwit the home defence. It was noteworthy too, that in Myles Bean who came onto the wing in the second half, they had a truly quick and dangerous player ball in hand, well able to threaten the home defence whenever he got the ball.
Chester moved into a 21 point lead with three converted tries in the first 20 minutes. First, after only three minutes, No. 8 Shay Owen crossed after the ball was moved wide to the left and he used his pace to make a clean break, side stepping the despairing last defender. This was Shay’s first intervention in a hugely dominant individual display with ball in hand. He scored again after seven minutes, bumping the final defender aside, after a Macca van Sertima carry allowed the home forwards to get in behind South Leicester’s defence. Then after 20 minutes, the pack drove a lineout for Mike Craven to score. Meanwhile James Robins was giving a virtuoso display of goal kicking, converting tries comfortably from the touchline.
Six minutes later the press of Chester’s defence forced yet another knock on from the South Leicester backs, who simply could not cope with the speed of the home side’s defensive press when they attempted to move the ball wide. This yielded a Chester scrum 15 metres from their own try line. A sweeping attack the length of the field then involved centre Tom Foden making a long weaving break in midfield, before scrum half Tom Holloway was rewarded for running an excellent support line to cross for a converted bonus point try. In the 29th minute the home pack used a series of pick and goes for prop Alex Read to cross for a 5th try which made the half time score 35 -0.
The half time break seemed to revive the South Leicester players. Within two minutes their outside centre Quinten Koster found space to step inside a Chester defender and cross for a converted try after a patient build up by his team mates. South Leicester attacked again from the restart, only to fall back into their old ways with a knock on deep in the home 22. From the resulting scrum, again close to their own try line, first Shay Owen, and then Tom Holloway and Sean Green, ran the ball into the opposition half. Wing Andrew Oakden carried into their 22. The recycled ball created a huge overlap for centre Macca van Sertima to cross for a well earned converted try. Shay Owen then completed his hat trick with a No.8 pick up from an attacking scrum to make the score 49-7.
Early in the final quarter Josh Morris crossed for try number eight following yet another flowing long range Chester attack. This time, however, James Robins at last showed he was fallible by narrowly missing a difficult conversion. South Leicester then, at last, managed to move the ball to Myles Bean in some space on their right wing. He proceeded to beat to defenders for pace on the outside before stepping inside the last defender to score an excellent individual try. Before the final whistle Myles managed another 20 metre break, beating three defenders in the five metre channel - this time on the left wing. But nothing could halt the Chester attack for long and, in the 71st minute, Macca van Sertima crossed for another try, after a sweeping move from inside his own half saw Harrison Vare break infield leftwards. A quick recycle back to the right gave Macca the space to cross in the corner.
This big win put Chester into second place in North 2, but left South Leicester remaining third from bottom.