Match Report: 1stXV see off Fullerians
By Tony Coyle
A CALM, CONTROLLED DISPLAY BY CHILTERN COMFORTABLY SEES OFF
LOCAL RIVALS FULLERIANS
After last week’s nailbiting finish which saw Chiltern gain a narrow win, the team travelled to local rivals Fullerians looking to avenge a comprehensive loss in the corresponding fixture last year. After the glorious summer and autumn the weather threw heavy rain and strong winds at the teams but Chiltern took the game by the scruff of the neck early on and never relinquished control no matter what Fullers threw at them.
Last year’s difficulties stemmed from an unstable scrum and the first two scrums today hardly gave the visiting crowd confidence but a couple of knock ons by the opposition seemed to settle the boys down, the forwards took control of the match and never relinquished their advantage. The lineout and loose play was excellent and the defence quite superb. Even injuries to the two main line out jumpers Jordan Scott and Euan Prime who both left the field before half time did not dent the confidence of the side in anyway.
The first try of the game came after 15 minutes when repeated driving play by the forwards saw prop Lachlan Collier force his way over the line the try being nicely converted by scrum half Stuart Pearham. The wind was slightly in Chilterns favour but accurate kicking by the outstanding young fly half Monty Weatherall and Pearham kept Chiltern on the front foot. Under great pressure from Chiltern in both attack and defence Fullers conceded penalties at regular intervals and whilst Pearham missed two kicks which were perhaps a little optimistic given the strength of the wind, he kicked a shorter range penalty just before half-time to give Chiltern a half-time lead of 10–0.
Prop Callum Varrell and flanker Josh French had replaced Scott and Prime and Collier switched to hooker with Joe Batt moving to number eight. Five minutes into the second half Chiltern moved the ball right and left several times across the field before a lovely miss pass by Weatherall gave centre Dave John space to race away before shipping the ball out to Dan Kingsley who scored in the right-hand corner. Pearham converted beautifully and Chiltern were moving away at 17–0.
Last week having gained a comfortable lead the team did not press home their advantage but today was very different. The complete control of the pack was constantly putting pressure on the Fullers defence and having kicked a long penalty to touch, from the ensuing five metre line out, taken neatly by Ollie Cato who had an excellent game throughout, the ball was moved to the back of the maul and prop Callum Varrall was driven over for the side’s third try. Despite the inclement weather Chiltern handling remained first class and after charging down a clearance kick by Fullerians the ball was moved quickly to John who had the pace to outflank the defence and score the bonus point try, again converted by Pearham from the touchline.
Flanker Josh Finch who joined the club from Marlow this year was thoroughly enjoying himself and after a massive up and under was cleverly re-gathered by Dan Swithenbank, Finch was on hand to receive the offload and race over the line for his first score for the club, which was also converted. Chiltern were 36–0 ahead and thoroughly enjoying themselves. The domination by the pack further manifested itself in when they secured a heel against the head at a scrum 10m out. The ball was picked up by number 8 Joe Batt who had the strength and pace to score the sixth try.
The final score was to prove extremely expensive for Callum Varrall who suddenly found himself receiving the ball with an overlap but with a full 25m to go! To his great credit he never batted an eyelid and charged over to score the seventh and final try before being mobbed by his team mates; it was very clear who would be buying the first round after the game!
Tougher matches lie ahead as Fullerians struggled to stay with a buoyant Chiltern side but with the half backs Pearham and Weatherall controlling matters behind the scrum the pack were showing significant promise which is really encouraging.
Next week is a break from league rugby but we have the great pleasure of welcoming old rivals Slough to Weedon Lane for the first round of the Bucks Cup which Chiltern won last season. The weather forecast for next week is rather better than yesterday and kick off will be at the earlier time of 2.00 PM