Chiltern struggle against a very good Hertford team
Too many mistakes cost Chiltern dear
Match report by Charles Owen-Conway
Chiltern welcomed back skipper Tom Grammenos, along with new 2nd row Ash Stevenson-Leigh and No.8 Gareth Wehrle, but in the end too many mistakes cost Chiltern dear as Hertford took control of the second half to run out comfortable winners.
Chiltern lost the toss and were asked to play with the strong wind in the first half. This was accompanied by a lot of rain that fell almost throughout the match. Unfortunately, Chiltern’s kicking was somewhat off key which meant that they didn’t make as much of the conditions as they had hope to do.
Several times kicks went dead from inside the Chiltern half, which was frustrating as the scrum and lineout functioned very well. A little more patience would have given Chiltern more opportunity to put pressure on Hertford. That said Chiltern’s defence remained strong and efficient for most of the half.
With Chiltern tackling strongly, especially young full back Cameron McDonald who twice pulled off try saving tackles, there was something of a stalemate with no score until the 25th minute when Chiltern finally conceded a kickable penalty on their 22. Duly kicked by the excellent Hertford full back, Chiltern regrouped and had their best period of play regularly putting Hertford onto the back foot.
The score remained the same until a frustrating last five minutes of the half. A penalty gave the Hertford full back a second kickable chance that he took with aplomb, 6-0. Then, a brilliant break from Jonny Hughes was just stopped on Hertford’s 22, but instead of patiently recycling the ball with a 3-1 overlap, Chiltern’s wide pass was intercepted and Chiltern had to back pedal to stop a try at the other end of the pitch. Chiltern killed the ball and No.8 Gareth Wehrle was sin-binned; and from the resulting scrum, Hertford scored a try under the post which was duly converted. Instead of a half time lead of 6-7, Chiltern were losing 13-0.
The second half was well contested but in the last quarter Hertford scored two rather fortunate tries and two very good ones. Chiltern did show glimpses of what they are capable of with some decent possession but it was not enough to break down a very strong Hertford team.
A neat piece of play did enable Cameron McDonald to score Chiltern’s only try but that was scant reward for a good set piece and strong defence.
There is still huge improvement to come from this young Chiltern side; and they are looking forward to responding positively against Southend next Saturday.
Onwards and upwards is the name of the game.