Chichester RFC Colts are through to the last eight of the National Plate after beating Westcliff at Oaklands Park.
Following five bruising rounds, the Blues triumphd in another Titanic battle.
Wow what a win – we didn’t quite play at the level we wanted but when it really counted we had enough.Coach Matt Adlington
It was soon apparent the away side were going to represent a real challenge. They disrupted the Blues ball and forced early errors – and soon a try meant Chi were 5-0 down.
Chi were battling hard with Charlie Constable and Tom Adlington going toe to toe with their bigger opponents.
Alex Margarson and Dan Patterson threatened with dangerous running but Westcliff proved difficult to break down. Ned Renwick cleared his lines well but the Blues were on the back foot.
On 30 minutess, Westcliff got on the scoreboard again with a well-worked drive and a second try was converted for a 12-0 scoreline.
After a shaky start Greg Firth and James Fitzmaurice started to get to grips in the lineout.
With five minutes of the half left, a great forward surge took play to within three metres of the try line. Stirrup whipped the ball away and Truman moved the ball on for Owen Seehawong to go over.
The Blues upped the tempo after the break and Fitzmaurice hit a couple of great lines, while great ruck clearances from Joe Stirrup and Will Prior helped the Blues dominate.
Renwick punched three long raking kicks deep into Vultures’ Corner but Wesciff defended stoutly.
Great tackles from Constable, Jack Rugman and Emille Crosby-Wilshire held the away side a bay.
After 25 minutes of intense pressure, Patterson produced almost a carbon copy of last week’s scintillating try with another beautiful swerving run, ghosting away from the resilient Cliff defence to score close to the posts and make it 12-12.
Renwick punched the ball deep into Vultures’ Corner. The pressure told as the Blues won the penalty and Renwick, under real pressure, slotted the vital three points.
Cliff pushed hard and three superb defensive efforts kept them out. Iwan Munroe stole a vital strike against the head – then Constable did a remarkable wrap tackle on the Westcliff No8 with the line a metre away.
Adlington won a vital penalty turnover and Renwick pumped the resulting penalty long down the touchline – and the game was theirs.
Men of the match were Patterson and Constable.
Matt Adlington, Chichester’s assistant coach, said: “Wow what a win – we didn’t quite play at the level we wanted but when it really counted we had enough.”
Chi director of rugby Paul Colley said: “This was a great cup tie – Westcliff gave us a fantastic game – a real tough and physical match but in the true spirit of rugby.”
CHICHESTER: Prior, Munroe, Rugman, Firth, Fitzmaurice, Scott, Adlington, Constable, Stirrup, Renwick, Baxter, Margarson, Patterson, Seehawong, Truman, Brereton, Delacy, Crosby-Wilshire, Ellis, Grace, Hutchin, Spreckley.
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