1st XV
Sat 17 Feb 2024  ·  Regional 2 South Central
Chichester Rugby Football Club
1st XV
Wimborne 24 v 22 Chichester

Wimborne 24 v 22 Chichester

Simon Tanner19 Feb - 11:28
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Nearly but not quite,,,,

On Saturday afternoon, Chichester travelled west on the A31 for their first ever visit to Leigh Park, the home of Wimborne RFC. When the sides met back in November, at Oaklands Park, Blues were 23 - 3 ahead after 45 minutes and hung on to draw 23 - 23. Chichester made 7 changes to the team that beat Reading, last time out, with Alex Einchcomb, Josh Cameron, Finlay Glass and Tom Whitehouse coming into the pack, Luca Fleming joining the backs and Robbie Hawkshaw and Fin West on the bench.
On a miserable afternoon, with persistent drizzle and a south westerly breeze blowing across the softish pitch, Chichester kicked off deep into Wimborne’s red zone. In difficult conditions both teams resorted to the boot and on 9 minutes Blues failed to kill a clearance kick on halfway allowing the Wimborne centre to kick on, win the foot race, and score under the posts. Converted. 7 - 0. Almost immediately, the opposition lost a player to the sin bin, for deliberate knock on, and Chichester used their man advantage to good effect, building pressure in the red zone over the next 10 minutes. A knock on gave Blues an attacking scrum 10 metres out and Josh Stops’ long pass was collected by Joel Andrews who outpaced the defensive cover to score out wide. Conversion missed. 7 - 5. From the restart Chichester conceded a penalty in kicking distance. 10 - 5. With the weather deteriorating, neither team could stamp their authority on the game and, with a couple of minutes left, another Chichester infringement allowed the hosts to increase their lead. 13 - 5. From the restart the ball was cleared up field and a dangerous tackle saw the referee produce a red card reducing Wimborne to 14 players for the rest of the match.

Half time, 13 - 5 and the Chichester faithful confident that, with their numerical advantage, the team would prevail.

However, Wimborne had other ideas and 3 missed tackles in the middle of the pitch saw them score a great solo try out wide. Conversion missed. 18 - 5 and 42 minutes played. Going further behind provided the catalyst and Chichester upped the tempo with 15 minutes of rugby in Wimborne’s half attempting to unpick their well organised defence. With the Blues’ pack dominant at the scrum, Stops launched another attack from 15 metres out with the ball travelling along the line to Andrews who was stopped just short. The ball was recycled to Finlay Glass who, despite the close attention of 3 defenders, crashed over the line to mark his 1st XV debut with a try. Converted by Elliot Haydon. 18 - 12 with 22 minutes left. Within 4 minutes Wimborne had increased their lead, after another Blues’ infringement within kicking distance. 21 - 12. With time running out a knock on gave Blues a scrum on halfway. The forwards advanced the ball with pick and goes before a change in direction wrong footed the defence allowing Zac Conley to make 20 metres. Using his height he threw the ball over the heads of 2 defenders to the supporting Stops who ran in for a try close to the posts. Converted by Haydon. 21 - 19 with 10 minutes left. On 76 minutes Chichester moved the ball from their 22 metre line to the Wimborne 22 metre line, before an infringement stopped play allowing Haydon to slot the penalty, for the lead. 21 - 22. With 4 minutes left Blues’ rock solid scrum was penalised and then walked back 10 metres for dissent. Sensing victory, Wimborne threw the kitchen sink at Chichester and advanced the ball with multiple pick and goes. Blues’ defence stood rock solid on the 5 metre line and with Wimborne unable to capitalise on a free ball, to score a try, decided that discretion was the better part of valour and kicked the penalty to win the match.

Full time, 24 - 22 with Chichester gaining a losing bonus point.

Another nail biter played in absolutely horrible conditions! However, the lineout functioned well for 80 minutes, Blues dominated the scrum and the whole team put in a shift to nullify Wimborne’s dangerous No 12.

Man of the Match was Huw Binfield.

Chichester squad: Einchcomb, Cameron, Glass, Conley, Heriot, Binfield, Hunter, Whitehouse, Stops, Haydon, Amin, Davies Andrews, Fleming, Blewitt (capt.), Manly, Hawkshaw and West.

Chichester’s next match is on Saturday, 2nd of March when they entertain Farnham at Oaklands Park. Kick off is 14:30.

Match details

Match date

Sat 17 Feb 2024




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