Match Report: 1stXV v North Walsham
By Tony Coyle
CHILTERN COME UP AGONISINGLY SHORT AGAINST NORTH WALSHAM
What a frustrating game! The visitors had only lost 2 games all season against 1st and 2nd, sit comfortably in 3rd place but Chiltern quite simply could and indeed should have won the game!
Straight from the kick off Chiltern, playing against the wind, took the game to NW and exerted great pressure with strong carries, good handling and a dominant scrum. Two early penalties had Chiltern camped in NWs 22 and after an excellent driving scrum number 8 Jordan Scott took full advantage with a pushover try well converted by Stuart Pearham. Both sides were ready to move the ball and NWs forwards, who were strong in the loose, set up some good field position and following a Chiltern infringement a lovely penalty kick to the corner saw NW convert a sound rolling maul for their first try well converted by their excellent 10.
Frustratingly from the kick off NW knocked on but it was not seen by the referee who overall enjoyed a good afternoon, Chiltern moved the ball, thinking they were playing advantage, but then knocked on themselves. However the first infringement hadn’t been seen and the NW centre gleefully latched onto the loose ball to run in a try under the posts, 7-14.
Chiltern were comfortable for the rest of the half, the scrum and lineout working well and following some sustained pressure another excellent scrum saw Scott force his way over for his second try which went unconverted so the score was 12-14 at half time.
Chiltern were clearly looking forward to having the wind in the second half but struggled to make best use of it too often ceding possession by kicking straight to NW players. After 10 minutes the NW flanker was red carded for a stamp on Tom Grammenos but Chiltern just couldn’t make the extra man count, indeed indiscipline led to a yellow card against Chiltern and the resultant penalty took NW 5 points clear.
Chiltern then had a much better period and after some good interplay an excellent break by David John saw Michael Brothers cross in the corner to bring the scores level 17-17 but the difficult conversion was unfortunately missed. Calamitously after setting up good ield postion Chiltern lost concentration and attempting a miracle pass NW went for the interception and with Chiltern all up in attack there was no cover to stop the try, 17-22. Still with time to go Chiltern came back and forced two penalties deep in the NW 22, however taking a 5m scrum with their pack in good shape the ball cannoned off the second row’s foot and the turnover gave NW time to clear their lines and secure the win.
They knew they had got out of jail and left this young Chiltern side so frustrated at what should have been an excellent victory.
It was hugely better performance however and the boys will look forward to the trip to Luton on Saturday with more confidence in what they can achieve with a bit more pragmatism.