Dons’ despair stems from Chichester passing 50 points - again

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Chichester won 51-3 at Wimbledon - but it was a pale shadow of their recent form in the first half when they made mistakes and gave away far too many penalties.

They were reborn in the second period and took the Dons’ defence apart with strong drives and clever passing, the backs running from deeper positions and linking at speed with the forwards.

The final tally was nine tries and three conversions to one penalty. A gusting wind hampered the conversion attempts. Chichester stay in second position followed closely by London Irish Amateur and Beckenham.

This was their seventh consecutive win and fourth double of the season – they’d beaten Dons 51-0 at Oaklands Park, when, co-incidentally, they had also scored nine tries and three conversions.

The Blues were without their two main lineout jumpers so Chris Johnson and Ben Polhill were nominated to do the catching.

After a scrappy first ten minutes, Richard Adams kicked a penalty to the right touchline. A drive brought Don infringements and their hooker was sin-binned for killing the ball.

Chichester’s driving maul reached the line but were held up twice. But they stole a lineout and the ball went from Tom Polhill to Moses Kasujja, who put Ben Polhill through a gap and no-one could touch him.

Billy Toone kicked to the right corner. Rob Lawrence sent the ball out to Tom Polhill, who set up the quick ruck and drive for his brother to dive across again, assisted by Kasujja. Adams added the extras. Chichester started conceding penalties in their haste to get possession and the referee showed no tolerance. The hosts kicked an easy penalty. The lesson was not learned and two Chichester men went to the bin for similar offences.

A counter-attack saw Adams break and pass to Jack Smallman on the outside. He flipped it back inside to him to gallop over. Dons raced to the Chichester line but were frustrated as the whistle blew for half-time. Despite the 17-3 lead, Chichester had disappointed after the heroics of the previous week.

The Blues changed tactics and made positional adjustments. Toby Golds led a thrust with inter-passing by Adams and Jon Lindsay.

Prop Josh Pszczonka and Phil Veltom were dynamic moving forward but some defending was necessary before the floodgates opened. Smallman, Tom Polhill and Adams handled to give Golds a long run to the corner; Kasujja broke through, carried on by Ross Fairbairn and Eddie Armah and an inside pass to Veltom made it 27-3.

The big fellow ploughed across again after a scintillating forwards drive. Scrum-half Jack Walker came off the bench and slickly set up Kasujja to score.

Chris Johnson was involved in everything and subs Craig Decoteau and Rhys Gillings did good work. Lawrence, Toone and Veltom combined to put Ben Polhill over for his hat-trick. Finally Fairbairn sprinted 40 metres, handing on to Adams to fool the last defender and stride to the posts before converting.

Director of rugby Paul Colley said: “We did have problems in the first 40 minutes but came good after some sorting out. We then played excellent rugby.”

This week Chichester travel to Chobham (2.30pm).

CHICHESTER: Shopland, Lawrence, Pszczonka, Veltom, Lindsay, Johnson, B Polhill, Kasujja, Toone, Adams, Armah, T Polhill, Smallman, Fairbairn, Decoteau, Gillings, Walker.

ROGER GOULD