Recent much-needed rain had softened the pitch at Oaklands Park in time for Chichester RFC’s first hit-out of the season versus London North outfit Harpenden.
It allowed for a fast-paced, entertaining match giving both sets of coaches a chance to cast their eye over their squads.
The Blues applied early pressure but good defence from a solid away team and a few errors allowed them off the hook.
With a squad of 30-plus Chichester rotated heavily in the 20-minute periods. In a very competitive first two quarters the Blues carved out a 17-12 lead.
The third quarter saw Chichester pick up the pace and as the away side tired, the blue and blue took their chances with a good balance between forward power and cutting edge in the backs.
With several changes in the pack the home side really got on top at scrum time and scored another five tries in the second period to end 46-17 to the good.
International joins Chi RFC set-up
New coach Kieran Low said: “This was a good hit-out for the boys; we made a few mistakes but we showed our intent.”
Head coach Scott Ashley and director of rugby Paul Colley will have plenty to talk about as they plan for a significant step up versus National League outfit Guilford tonight (August 23).
Ashley said: “We are trying quite a few new things and it will take some time to come together but I was very pleased with the attitude and of course ultimately a good victory against tricky opponents.”
One or two players are really putting their hands up for the first league game of the season.
The only downside was a nasty-looking injury to one of last season’s most promising players, Jack Hamilton-Fox.
Colley said: “Jack was a real find for us last season covering the back three and scrum half. His injury, tackling their very strong right wing looks like it will require surgery. Everyone at the club wishes Jack a speedy recovery.
All support is welcome tonight at Oaklands.