London Welsh had given Chichester Colts a bye in the second round of the Under-19 National Cup after the Sussex side had put 86 points on one of the other exiles teams, London Scottish.
To help prepare the team for the next round against Twickenham or Harrow, Chichester invited Petersfield for a friendly – but the game was far from that. There were plenty of off-the-ball incidents and the referee struggled to keep a lid on it as Chichesrer won 31-5.
Chichester realised they were facing their toughest test of the season to date. The breakthrough came after 12 minutes when scrum-half Nathan Tucker picked up from the back of a ruck and jinked past the Petersfield defence for the first try.
After a flare-up Chichester’s hooker Paddy Ryan was sent to the bin for ten minutes. When he came back on, he stole the ball in a maul to set up a try for lock Luke Inkle.
At half-time, Chichester’s lead was 12-0 and they brought on several fresh players.
Petersfield scored next by taking a quick tap penalty close to the try line.
The turning point came when wing Chris Brooks caught a Petersfield clearance kick on halfway. He stepped on the gas to glide past the outstretched hands of his opposite number and run on to score a glorious try.
U17 hooker Harry Shonk capped his man-of-the-match performance with a powerful break to burst through the opposition and touch down under the posts. The final try came after centre Jack Knight chipped through to set up Brooks, whose acceleration brought cheers.
Full-back Ben Clink’s third successful conversion gave Chichester a comfortable but not convincing victory and the team may need a better performance when they play Brighton on Sunday, in the U18 Sussex League.
CHICHESTER: Boxall, Ryan, Hunter, Kemish, Inkle, Wallace, Foulkes, Randlesome, Tucker, Bruce, Saddler-Coppard, Knight, Patten, Rivard, Clink, Shonk, Cameron, Munday, Brooks, Martin, Menage, Salt, Hopkins, Stockton.