On a sunny afternoon in Surrey, Chichester RFC produced another mixed bag of a performance against struggling opposition, winning 37-17 at Chobham.
They dominated Chobham in the first half and scored four tries for a bonus point in just 36 minutes.
It seemed they could reach 50 points for the fourth time this season, but they failed to capitalise and ‘lost’ the second half 12-14.
The final tally was six tries, two conversions and a penalty to two converted tries.
The Blues had a much-changed squad and four players were included from their all-conquering second XV. Several positional adjustments were made.
They began confidently and front-row duo Rob Lawrence and Josh Pszczonka penetrated and fed the backs before Chobham were offside and Richard Adams (pictured left) slotted the penalty.
Quick ball and good hands put winger Golds across for the first try, Adams adding the extras.
Chobham got to the Chichester 22 and kicked a penalty after a visitor came in from the side at the tackle area.
The home side went offside again and Chichester kicked to the corner for the lineout catch by Chris Johnson and the drive over the line, Lawrence emerging from the bottom of the pile with the ball and a cheeky smile. Fly-half Brian Hinajosa chipped neatly over the top but it was caught and marked.
Chichester turned the screw but lost a ruck in front of the posts. A lineout throw was ruled not straight but a scrum followed and No8 Moses Kasujja broke off and put Hinajosa over to make it 20-3. The Blues scrum were stronger and shoved their opponents back. The Chobham scrum-half negated this advantage by skilfully feeding his put-in to his second row for a speedy exit.
Chichester’s openside flanker Liam Ferguson powered out of defence and prop Phil Veltom stormed across but was recalled for a foot in touch.
Chobham’s full-back and fly-half were kicking competently out of hand. Tom Jackson was forced out at the end of a sweeping move to the left but Billy Toone nipped blindside from a scrum and slipped the ball to Kasujja, who strode on to touch down out wide.
Centre Jack Smallman spun out of a tackle and was nearly through but the ball was lost in the offload. Adams sent a long kick to the corner but the lineout and drive was held by desperate defence.
After the restart, Jackson showed how to catch a high ball and take the incoming tackle. Chichester’s front five continued their sterling work in the open and Pszczonka was driving over the gain line. Kasujja set off with deceptive pace down the right, evaded defenders and ran behind the posts for a solo try. Adams took the easy conversion.
Replacement Will Hearniman ran from inside his own half to the Chobham 22. The Blues lineout developed problems and the home team began a resurgence and nearly had a try.
Sam Renwick and Jack Smallman had to tackle firmly and Chichester sprang back, the ball sent out to Adams. His swerving run took him to the right corner and he beat the last tackle.
The Blues became erratic and lethargic and the defence looked vulnerable. Chobham scored good tries by Roberts and Guy in the last ten.
Director of rugby Paul Colley said: “We played expansively in the first period and succeeded. In the second we became too loose.”
Dover visit Oaklands on Saturday (2.30pm) – all support welcome.
CHICHESTER: Pszczonka, Lawrence, Veltom, Lindsay, Lockyer, Johnson, Ferguson, Kasujja, Toone, Hinajosa, Jackson, Smallman, Renwick, Golds, Adams, Decoteau, Giddings, Hearniman.