Match Report: 1stXV v Fullerians
A Welcome Return to Form sees Chiltern comfortably defeat local rivals Fullerians.
After last week’s snow and postponement Chiltern were raring to go and looking to avenge the defeat they suffered when they visited Watford earlier in the season. A game that saw probably their worst performance of the year, they were determined to make amends and so it proved today.
After all the rain and snow the pitch was in remarkably good condition although sticky, and a strong breeze blowing across the ground made kicking difficult. Chiltern chose to play with the elements in the first half and were soon in the ascendancy. Both sides seemed almost over hyped and their reluctance to listen to the instructions from the referee led to a succession of penalties against both sides. A strong attack after a scything break by David John who was making his first appearance of the season after injury led to yet another penalty conceded by Fullerians which was calmly slotted by man of the match Ollie Choules to give Chiltern a 3-0 lead.
One of the failings in the earlier game had been the Chiltern pack but today saw the welcome return of Ollie Cato and Luke Antos which gave the scrum some much needed ballast. Whilst the conditions were never easy Chiltern’s ball handling was excellent throughout the game and after 14 minutes and after securing the ball from the line out Chiltern drove strongly towards and over the Fullerians try line with hooker Joe Batt emerging as the try scorer. Choules comfortably kicked the conversion to take the lead to 13–0.
Fullerians were struggling to gain any really worthwhile field position but their excellent back row was strong in defence and made ground whenever they could. The penalty count rose inexorably and with the referee having warned both captains two yellow cards were issued one against each side. In between these Choules kicked an excellent 45m penalty but just before half-time again after some Chiltern indiscipline, Fullerians kicked to the corner and were able to score their first try of the match which was unconverted and left the score 13–5 to Chiltern at half-time.
The pattern of the second half was very similar although Fullerians with the wind in their favour found it easier to gain ground and which in turn meant that the Chiltern pack had to work still harder to move back up field. Debutant James Waller yet another product of the successful colts Academy was making an impressive first appearance and although his strong 40m run was stopped just inside the Fullerians half the ball was recycled and another break by Choules created space to offload to the outstanding Jordan Scott who galloped in from fully 40m to score Chiltern’s second try wide out on the left. Choules converted with a superb kick and Chiltern were away and clear.
With the game drawing to a close Fullerians scored their second try. They again weren’t able to convert this and Chiltern calmly ran down the clock whilst still leaving Choules time to kick another excellent penalty to leave the final score 23–10.
This was an impressive victory against a strong side and with such a young team. Chiltern clearly had a point to prove and with Colchester losing heavily Chiltern climbed back into third place in the table.
Next week sees the rearranged game at Ruislip and the kickoff will be at 11.00 am to allow sufficient time to return to the club to watch the England v Ireland match