A Sunny Day in Berkshire
By Sam Wheeler
The 2s go to War!
It was was beautiful sunny day in Berkshire, for the 2nd team’s first away game of the season at Bracknell. The pack looked strong, with a number of players being rotated from the ones, and the backs had the potential to exciting if they got an opportunity out wide. As ever in the twos there were lots of new combinations and partnerships but also opportunities for players to make their mark.
Sadly, we could not bring this excitement into the pre-match warm up and preparations with it all feeling a a little bit ‘flat’ and lacklustre. Unfortunately, this tone was taken into the opening twenty five minutes of the game, with some poor discipline, defence and desire. Bracknell went over to score a handful of ‘easy’ tries. To put it bluntly, Chiltern were just not good enough in the opening part of this match.
Despite our poor start, some strong forward carries from Charlie Swerling and Dan Swithenbank, and some ill discipline from the opposition allowed us to get back into game and get some territory. Chiltern showed more desire and determination and managed to start to put the opposition under some pressure and hold onto the ball for a number of phases but Bracknell’s defence held firm. At halftime it was safe to say our opponents had a rather cinching lead.
After a rousing team talk from Simo and a some decisive tactical changes, Chiltern made an electric start to the second half, with numerous ferocious forward carries off nine blended with some wider plays off our ten Ross Gladdish, Bracknell didn’t know what had hit them. Chiltern progressed into Bracknell’s 22 after some effective rucking and offloading and we’re
on the cusp of scoring there first points to the day. Unfortunately, it was not to be with some aggressive defence from our opponents forcing a penalty and the chance to clear.
After this Bracknell woke up and scored a couple of quick tries to pull further away. However, Chiltern showed their resolves and battled on with a number of big carries from the pack, a number of turnovers and nifty distribution skills from Josh Finch and monster hits from Dan Swithenbank, we managed to get back into Bracknell’s 22. This time we were more fruitful... and after a number of powerful carries around the corner, and the opposition’s defence creaking, we spread the ball wide to Ross Gladdish, who under immense pressure sent a delightful chip kick to the corner for our outside centre Stuart Vincent to gather and touch down. Finally some points on the board!
We persevered but Bracknell came back strong and scored a couple more tries, with fatigue setting in our decision making and defensive was not was what it should have been. However, we did finish the game with an attacking flourish that saw us very early go over on the corner. Dan Swithenbank pick up from the back of a scrum, draw the nine, Toby Neill fixed the last defender and managed to get the ball away to Stuart Vincent who sped towards the try line and sent an outrageous offload infield to Iwan Thomas who looked certain to score but a try saving tackle from our opposition’s twelve denied us.
MOTM: Dan Swithenbank - for the aforementioned large hits and huge carries.
DOTM: Sam Wheeler - for a shocking lineout display, a number of missed tackles and an intercept try gievn aw
This Match report was brought to you by the limited writing capabilities of Toby Neill