Chippenham RFC 15 – 14 Royal Wootton Bassett RFC
By Matthew Stephen
Chippenham RFC welcomed local rivals RWB to Allington Field for a hotly anticipated return match and earned a close win!
Chippenham RFC welcomed local rivals Royal Wootton Bassett to Allington Fields for a hotly anticipated return match.
After Bassett got the better of Chippenham in the first half of the season, this game was due to be highly contested from the start. Chippenham were coming off the back of an impressive bonus point win against Oxford Harlequins and raring to go.
However, the visitors had the brighter start. The first 10 minutes had Chippenham defending within their own 22, and while the Chippenham line stayed strong, they eventually conceded a penalty right in front of the sticks. The Bassett 10 made no error and it was 3-0 to the visitors.
Chippenham continued to put the pressure on Bassett in defence and the set piece. The strong Chippenham defence was then rewarded after the Bassett fly half threw a long pass which was then intercepted by Oli Alcorn. Alcorn had the pace to run it in from 60m and then converted his own try. 7-3 Only minutes later, after some sustained pressure from Bassett, another penalty conceded in the Chippenham 22. Bassett convert from the tee. 7-6.
After that, it was very much all Chippenham who camped in the Bassett half coming close to the white wash a couple of times after half breaks from Jacob Unwin and Brad Doggett. However after some relentless attacking from Chip, they drew a penalty from Bassett. After some quick thinking from Unwin, he took the quick tap and supplied Charlie Palmer who could walk in for a try. Conversion missed 12-6. It was more of the same from Chip however 10 minutes before the half was due to finish prop Riley received a red card so now Chippenham were down to 14 for the rest of the game.
The second half got underway with Chippenham realising they would need to put in a big shift to get a result. The second half was very stop and start with both sides exchanging blows with not much outcome.
Finally Bassett were able to break Chippenham down and after some poor tackling, Bassett were able to go over in the corner. 12-11
Chippenham were struggling to get hold of the ball and Bassett were really starting to make the extra man show. Bassett were hammering away at the Chippenham line but the defence stood resilient. In the end Bassett had to settle for a penalty which was slotted over, 20 minutes to go. 12-14
Very back and forth in the last 20 with Chippenham starting to see some regular ball, however both sides making a series of mistakes. With 3 minutes left, Chippenham had a real sense of urgency. Matt Dickens, Doggett and Unwin all making half breaks and pushing the team forward. Bassett then had the ball and missed touch. Allowing the fast Vasuitoga to run the ball back putting Chippenham in good field position. From there, the Chippenham forwards went to work putting double digit phases together. Dickens then makes a small break, Bassett give away a penalty just left of the posts. With the last kick of the game Alcorn calmly steps up and slots the ball just inside of the post. 15-14.
Great game contested by two good sides. Chippenham with back to back wins for only the second time this year. Awesome set piece and a lot of positives can be taken from the game. Chippenham will take great confidence from this going into their final games and will look to remain unbeaten for the rest of the season.