1stXV v Sudbury: Match Report
By Ross Thomson
CHILTERN MAKE IT THREE WINS IN A ROW WITH VICTORY AGAINST A VERY COMPETITIVE SUDBURY SIDE
Chiltern took the field with an astonishing 14 home bred players in their 18 man squad. With a new axis at 9,10 and 12 it inevitably took the boys some time to settle and whilst they always looked comfortable in the first half, the final pass often went to ground and on two occasions with the tryline in sight!
The scrum and lineout were working much better this week and a firm pitch allowed both sides to run the ball. Both teams had good opportunities but generally the defences were able to cope with some ease. Sudbury’s indiscipline gave Chiltern plenty of time to gain swathes of ground but they just couldn’t find a way through the defence. A lovely break by Ben Pothecary looked to have set up the first try but the final pass again went astray and then outside half Monty Weatherall had a Freddie Burns moment when, after scything through the last line of defence and with try line 5m away, he started to celebrate and dropped the ball, oops!
It didn’t matter as another good midfield break saw Weatherall slide a lovely kick through towards the Sudbury 25m line. Winger Ryan Greenstreet had the pace to hack the ball on twice and dive on it for the first try which Weatherall converted 7-0.
Several more opportunities went begging before Sudbury produced a splendid backs move with led to their outstanding winger outflanking the Chiltern defence for an excellent unconverted try 7-5. With last play of the half a deliberate offside in front of the posts was spotted by the referee who had an excellent game all round. Weatherall kicked the goal so 10-5 to Chiltern at half time.
With the wind now in their favour it was really difficult to understand why Chiltern did not use it so much more but continued to try to run the ball out of defence! Time and again the long miracle pass just didn’t work and somehow chance after chance went begging. With only 8 minutes left to play Sudbury produced another splendid backs move and with some well timed passes they scored an unconverted try in the corner 10-10!
Finally with the prospect of Chiltern somehow snatching a draw out of the jaws of victory some sensible, positive play took them into the Sudbury 22. Getting some quick ball Weatherall saw the gap and this time made no mistake scoring the winning try which he also converted 17-10.
The closeness did nothing for the spectator’s nerves although it was a splendid game to watch, I think…
A week’s break now follows with the crunch match next Saturday being between those well known teams Wales v England… The following week Chiltern make the short journey to play Ruislip who have put together some much better results of late. Kick off will be at 3.00pm as we will be in March by then.