Chiltern downed by Chinnor
By Andrew Rooke
Chiltern fail to bid on bright start
Strange portents all over the weekend – A Welsh team that seemingly had never met one another, two New Zealand rugby teams lose in the space of an hour (a top quiz question of the future…..the answer…….Chicago and Coventry), and Baa-baa’s chasing down the springboks
Chiltern tails were high after a number of great performances in the last few weeks, but would half-term see a refreshed return or a loss of momentum? With the first cold snap of winter but in bright sunshine, Chinnor were our, highly respected, opponents.
In the first period of the game Chiltern continued their recent excellent form with good interplay between forwards and backs bringing a number of chances. Some of our decision-making was a bit awry with players retaining the ball, seeking to crash through the Chinnor defence, when there were significant overlaps available. Despite this Chiltern scored three tries; from Max Eggleton, a terrific opportunist score by Angus Love, and Chrissy Grint. Chinnor scored two tries, but Chiltern helped Chinnor’s cause by standing off too far in defence.
In the subsequent periods of the game, Chiltern found it hard to maintain their performance, especially in defence. Chinnor stepped up too demonstrating some excellent core skills and real understanding of team play, especially in the breakdown and in choosing the right option in attack.
For the coaches what was most disappointing was that Chiltern showed sparks of real improvement and for phases in the game were dominant, with Dylan Coker and Tom Ates amongst the try scorers. Indeed at one stage Chiltern scored 21 unanswered points, including a length of the pitch effort by Max Eggleton, to be only four points behind Chinnor with five minutes to go. But Chinnor again played excellently to score the final two tries, leaving a scoreline of 81 – 65 to Chinnor
Chiltern could not complain about the result which accurately reflected Chinnor’s dominance. Indeed our players could do very well to consider how well Chinnor played as a team, working for each other and understanding the importance of strong counter-rucking and assessing when to retain possession and when to pass. Chiltern certainly had some excellent individual performances, especially Chrissy Grint as man of the match, but too often we played like individuals , not a team working for each other. Chinnor proved how much more individuals deliver when they play as one and seek to do the basic things well.
Thanks to Chinnor for their great rugby and company and to Mark McKenzie-Crooks for an excellent refereeing display, including a brave decision to disallow a try by his son. Lets hope he’s forgotten that by the time he comes to choose your care home Mark.
By Alex Greggor