Colley: Chichester win sends message to rest of league

Action from Chichester's win over Medway / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Action from Chichester's win over Medway / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Chichester’s director of rugby reflected on a memorable victory over the previously-unbeaten leaders and declared: This shows the rest of the league what we can do.

The Blues storming 22-9 win at home to top-of-the-table Medway was crucial for their season’s hopes, according to director of rugby Paul Colley.

The crowd were entertained by some stunning rugby as the visitors’ 100 per cent record was ended.

It was the first time this season that Medway had scored fewer than 20 points, and the first game in which they had not scored a single try – this from a team who had amassed close to 400 points in their opening ten outings.

Chi had lost two London one south games in succession and were determined not to make it three in a row. It was tense towards the end but there was jubilation when the final whistle blew.

Director of rugby Paul Colley said: “We’ve had a couple of poor performances in recent weeks mainly down to injuries and unavailabilities. Today we had a pretty strong side out and I think it showed.

“We played pretty well. There were some tough decisions from the referee and yet we still won the game, so a really good performance, probably our best performance of the season so it was great to beat top of the league, and still be in the mix towards the end of the season.”

When being asked about the significance of beating the unbeaten leaders, Colley said: “I think more than about the win – we were playing top of the league, and if we can beat the top of the league, it shows that we are capable of beating anyone in this league.

“It was a statement we wanted to make regardless of where we end up at the end of the season. If we can get our best side out, we can be very strong.”

Colley was impressed with the dominant forwards, which set the tone for the team and gave them a platform as Chi were winning the ball in the opposition’s half. He also singled out the returning Scott Barlow for praise.

The result left Chi fourth with the same number of points as third-placed Havant. The gap between Chi and Medway is now seven points.

The Blues will be out to strengthen their position in the leading pack when they host bottom side Maidstone this Saturday (2pm).