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Rugby: It’s tougher this time - but Chichester do it again

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Another open and entertaining game - another Chichester win against determined opponents as Sidcup were beaten 27-7 at Oaklands Park in London one south.

The Blues earned their fourth and bonus-point try in the last minute despite resolute tackling by Sidcup who defended well the whole game. The margin was four tries, two conversions and a penalty to a try and conversion.

With the Kent team in fifth place, Chi anticipated a competitive game and so it proved.

They had Tom Jackson on the right wing with Nick Shopland, Rhys Gillings and Tom Taylor on the bench .

The home team nearly scored in 30 seconds when Sam Renwick followed a Richard Adams kick over the top and was about to touch down when the ball squirted away from a lunging Sidcup boot.

A Chi penalty was kickable but they opted for lineout and drive, with Moses Kasujja held up at the try line.

The ball was sent out from the scrum and full-back Toby Golds galloped over for the first try. Adams passed 100 points for the season with the conversion.

The lineouts were erratic but Niall Goldie and Reece Cavozzi were catching their share. A fast raid by Golds and Jackson with a cross-kick to Hutchinson nearly paid off but a defender carried over and Chi lost the five-metre scrum.

Billy Toone sniped through but was held and Sidcup cleared from a penalty. He also appeared in defence to field a high kick and jink his way up the touchline to set up a ruck.

Jack Bentall broke away brilliantly and ran 50m handing off tacklers. He offloaded inside and the chance was lost.

Kasujja made good ground and put Golds on a run but he met a solid defence.

Sidcup’s scrum pushed Chi back but their backs were repulsed. Chi were not firing on all cylinders and Sidcup were gaining confidence at only 7-0 down at the break.

The team talk seemed to have worked as they quickly resumed attack.

A lineout at Vulture’s Corner sent Adams on a loop around and the ball was recycled to the centre, where Sidcup were deliberately offside to stop a try. A player was sin-binned and Adams slotted the penalty.

A Sidcup thrust was counter-attacked and the ball went to Golds. He passed neatly to Jackson who put on the afterburners and scorched 40m, going around and dotting down. Adams added the extras.

One of the Sidcup back row was lucky to escape a red card for punching Andy Gray - he got a yellow instead.

After several drives and rucks, Chi were glad to be awarded a penalty and cleared.

Suddenly young Hutchinson intercepted a Sidcup pass on his 22 and raced to the posts at the other end with defenders too late to cut him off. A fine try made it 22-0.

Toone was injured and replaced by Taylor, while hard-working Phil Veltom received a team yellow card for ruck infringement. Their rolling maul did the business for 20m and flanker Horton was rewarded, the try converted by fly-half Ody.

The Blues went all out for the bonus. Hutchinson was almost across again and the Sidcup line was bombarded.

Ben Polhill controlled the ball from a lineout drive and Taylor seemed to have grounded the ball on the try line but the referee was unsighted.

Chichester were frustrated until the last gasp when Taylor took a quick tap penalty and fed Veltom on the hoof. No-one could stop the powerful prop from eight metres and he plunged over to reap the final harvest.

This week Chichester travel to London to play Old Colfeians aiming to make it nine from nine and stay a point ahead of East Grinstead.

CHICHESTER: Gingell, Gray, Veltom, Cavozzi, Wright, Goldie, Polhill, Kasujja, Toone, Adams, Hutchinson, Bentall, Renwick, Jackson, Golds, Shopland, Gillings, Taylor.

ROGER GOULD

 

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