Match Report: 1stXV v Ruislip
By Tony Coyle
CHILTERN COME FROM BEHIND TO SECURE A BONUS POINT DRAW AGAINST A GUTSY RUISLIP SIDE
After the significant improvement seen over the last few games it was a little surprising that Chiltern made such heavy weather game against the league’s bottom side. Despite missing several first choice forwards Chiltern were still able to field a side that should have been comfortable even against a very determined Ruislip side who took first use of the strong breeze.
Frankly Chiltern were well off the pace in the first 20 minutes, looking to play expansive rugby whenever possible but frequently neglecting the basic fundamentals of securing the ball to give them possession and territory. As early as six minutes into the match and after several Chiltern errors Ruislip produced some excellent handling to make space for their wing to run in the first try which was neatly converted. 10 minutes later and several missed tackles saw Ruislip‘s second try and five minutes after that their third. Both of these were converted so 21–0 to the visitors! Chiltern did finally wake up and started to play the possession game much more successfully. Having camped in the Ruislip 22 they were rewarded when prop Callum Verrall was driven over the line for the home sides first try which was well converted against the wind by Stuart Pearham. The score remained the same until half-time and one can only imagine the words that were then spoken in the changing room!
The beginning of the second half was almost a mirror of the first except that it was now Chiltern in the ascendancy scoring a try through the forwards after only five minutes before an interception by Stuart Pearham and a further try by the outside half, all of which he converted, put the home side ahead 28–21. Whether the boys thought that was game over it most definitely wasn’t as after an unnecessary sin bin which saw a Chiltern prop leave the field for 10 minutes and with a numerical advantage, Ruislip ‘s forwards barged their way across the line for their fourth and bonus point try; fortunately the conversion was missed but Chiltern now had only a precarious two point lead.
Chiltern worked their way back towards the Ruislip line when they were awarded a penalty. Not surprisingly they opted for the three points to give them a five point cushion. However Ruislip made one final surge upfield and were again rewarded with a try which brought the scores level with the conversion to come. It was against the breeze and with the kick missed both sides had to settle for a 31–31 draw. Whilst both sides were awarded three points, Chiltern’s failure to secure victory was disappointing to say the least.
No doubt there will be much discussion in training this week before the team play the rearranged fixture against Diss which will kick off at Weedon Lane at 2:30 on Saturday 10 November.