CHICHESTER marched five points clear at the top of rugby’s London one south – but warned: It’s no more than a good start.
Their last-gasp 10-6 at Basingstoke made it seven wins from seven as they look to improve upon last season’s narrow missing of a play-off spot which could have led to promotion to the national leagues.
But the men from Oaklands Park know plenty of tough tests lie between them and the title – tests which will be made harder if the Blues fail to take the sort of chances that could have given them a more comfortable win in Hampshire.
Director of rugby Paul Colley said: “It was a pulsating game at Basingstoke in which no quarter was asked or given.
“Basingstoke’s defence was about the best we’ve faced this season but the pressure told, with the home side’s discipline eventually cracking.
“The exchange referee from the south-west had an excellent match and marshalled a compelling top-of-the-table battle.”
Head coach Richard Isaac said: “We left it late but showed real patience and belief to get the win we fully deserved.
“We must however learn from this match and will need to take the points on offer.
“With 13 points left on the park we could have been comfortable – we gave Stoke two chances with the home team kicker taking both opportunities – thankfully our discipline was at top level to give him only these two chances.”
Skipper Scott Barlow, voted joint man of the match with Ben Polhill, added: “We’ve started well but that’s all it is a good start. We will enjoy this win but know we’re back to a huge challenge against Hove this week.”