Bonus point and clean sheet are Chichester’s rewards at Sutton & Epsom

A bonus-point win and a clean sheet were Chichester’s rewards for another fine display on the road as they won 41-0 at Sutton and Epsom.

The Blues knew this could be a tricky match versus the bottom side but after a slow start, they did a professional job.

Chichester’s coaches were at pains to point out there are no easy games in this league and Sutton’s home record indicated they were able to be competitive.

Only big Phil Veltom was unavailable and Jack Taggart was rested.

The game started with the edge missing from the Blues as the home side played with nothing to lose. S&E started with zest, aided by a couple of poor clearance kicks which allowed the black and whites to press deep in the blue territory.

The home side’s lineout functioned well and their forwards were competing well at the breakdown. The first two scrums had the Blues pack being disrupted and sliding backwards.

In the first 20 minutes only Ben Polhill played with the desire and intensity required but good defence by the Blues stopped one certain try.

Deed hit a fantastic line to open up the home midfield defence only to see the ball given away.

With the initial storm weathered, the Blues started to create phases with nice kicks from Pearham and strong runs from Golds.

The forwards pulled the scrum together to create a good platform for No8 Moses Kasujja to pick up from the base and cruise over for the first score.

Adams countered well, using his pace and swerve to force a penalty which Pearham slotted to push it to 10-0.

But the black and whites rallied over the reminder of the half and Chichester can take some comfort from the defence scrambling well to hold on to the lead.

Half-time brought stern words but the first ten minutes of the second half saw Sutton throw the kitchen sink at the Blues. Chichester’s defensive effort was strong with excellent hits from props Shopland and Wheeler.

S&E seemed deflated and the Blues took control.

Goldie came into the back row and quickly created a turnover, Polhill carried strongly and Barlow and Polhill smashing over the gain line. Quicker ball gave Lawrence the chance to show his ball skills with several excellent runs to create the overlap. Pearham pulled the strings and Wagstaff threatened round the fringes.

Adams gathered a superb kick to go round out wide then Pearham calmly slotted a penalty.

Wheeler stole more ball and Shopland carried forward and Wagstaff spotted half a gap and squeezed over before Pearham showed his class with a snap drop goal to take the scoreboard to 27-0.

Kasujja and Polhill created turmoil in the defence with another solid scrum platform giving Kasujja his second try and the bonus point. Satala and Pellet came on with 15 minutes to go, the big Figian putting in two big hits and young Pellet, on his début, having some good carries.

Kasujja rounded off a man-of-the-match performance – ahead of other contenders Ben Pohill and Toby Golds – with his third try and Pearham slotted the extras for a personal tally of 16 points.

Director of rugby Paul Colley said: “We were a bit flat early on and Sutton were sharper in the early exchanges and played with a lot of pride.

“We have tried to bring a sense of honesty into our squad and the guys knew they hadn’t performed to the levels we have set.

“But we were much more clinical in the second period and showed the desire required to get a decent win.”

Head coach Richard Isaac added: “It was a good win in the end but we had to be patient and lift our performance in the second half.

“We moved the ball around and although it wasn’t our best performance we came away with the points.”

CHICHESTER: Wheeler, Lawrence, Shopland, Barlow, Blount, O’Callaghan, B Polhill, Kasujja, Wagstaff, Pearham, Golds, Deed, Adams, Knowles. Reps: Pellett, Goldie, Satala.