Match Report: 1stXV v Fullerians
CHILTERN ENJOY A VERY SATISFYING BONUS POINT VICTORY IN A VERY PHYSICAL GAME AGAINST FULLERIANS
With several front line players either unavailable or injured it was very satisfying to see off a physical and niggly Fullerians who were trying to get revenge for the drubbing we gave them earlier in the season. Despite some struggles in the scrum against a much heavier pack, in the lineout and open play Chiltern were comfortably the better side and ran out deserved winners with a bonus point victory.
Chiltern gave away several early penalties in the scrum, Fullers, who played with the strong breeze in the first half, kicked two penalties to lead 6-0. However after 15 minutes with Chiltern finally getting some decent ball and stretching the defence, an excellent lineout take just inside the 22 was well recycled and a lovely rolling maul had hooker Stuart Rogers driven over the line for the first try which was unconverted 5-6.
Fullerians came back and kicked a 3rd penalty to regain the lead, before Chiltern took control of the next 20 minutes. First and, with the referee playing advantage, Joe Butler put in a sublime chip and chase to score himself and convert his own try 12-9. Almost from the kick off Chiltern regained possession and hammered away at the visitors line before some great hands gave centre Dave John enough space to force his way over the line for the third try 17-9.
An unnecessary penalty gave Fullers the opportunity to camp on the Chiltern 5m line and after a series of scrums they scored their first try which was unconverted but left the score 17-14 at half time. It would not have been an injustice if Chiltern had lost a prop to the bin given the number of penalties they gave away but the try saved them!!
Now playing with the wind at their backs some sensible kicking and retention of possession put Fullers on the back foot and they started to concede penalties themselves and on 12 minutes Butler extended Chiltern’s lead as he kicked a penalty 20-14.
What could then have been a defining moment came when Butler kicked long from well inside his 22, the ball sailed away and having looked as if it would find touch, suddenly bounced left and went dead! Scrum back inside the 22 and several scrums later, a first yellow card against Chiltern was followed shortly after by a penalty try and a second yellow card for killing the ball gave Fullerians an unlikely lead, 20-21.
Playing with only 13 men Chiltern then played some excellent disciplined rugby, they kept Fullers pinned back and 2 penalties from Butler put Chiltern ahead 26-21. Fullers couldn’t get out of their half and were very lucky not to lose players to the bin. With Chiltern restored to 15 men they pounded the line looking for the fourth and bonus point try. A further penalty saw Butler put in a cross kick which was well gathered by Mikey Brothers who dotted the ball down in the corner. However the referee was slightly unsighted so couldn’t confirm the score. He went straight back for the penalty and two forward drives later Jordan Scott who had an immense game at 8 forced his way over for the try which Butler converted 33-21.
A tough and very physical game but all credit to the boys for coming through such a tough test. They are up to 6th in the league and will now enjoy a break as there is no league game next Saturday before making the long trip to Diss on 9 February.