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Home > News > Kingsclere 8 - Chesham 3
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16
JAN

Chesham Rugby Club made the long away trip to Kingsclere on Saturday afternoon for a league game against Kingsclere. A cold, crisp and sunny day turned extremely misty as the Stags arrived at their hosts, and they began to warm up on an extremely muddy pitch. Chesham knew that they had to come away from this game with points as Kingsclere are only one place below them in the league; they also needed to put last week's heavy defeat to bed.

The Stags received the ball from the kick off and soon found themselves under pressure as a knock-on gifted Kingsclere possession. Strong Chesham defence held them out for a number of phases, but Kingsclere's heavy runners were punching holes. The slippery ball and uneven ground led to a number of handling errors by both sides, but the visitors were unable to clear their lines effectively and had to rely on their defensive patterns to keep the home side away from their line. After a number of phases Kingsclere found a way through and went over with Stag's defenders trying hard to hold the ball up. Despite it not being clear if the ball was grounded the referee awarded the try, which was unconverted.

After a stern talking-to underneath the posts by head coach Rocky Clark, Chesham came back determined to impose themselves on the game. They began to increase the physicality and strong carries from the likes of Man-of-the-match Mark Wagstaff, Gary Szulc, and Zain Sibilant took them deep into Kingslcere territory. The difficult conditions continued to frustrate the Stags, but they held onto the ball well. Scrum-half Chris Cheeld was releasing his unfamiliar backline and a strong break from fly-half Tom Hirst resulted in Kingsclere giving away a penalty, which Hirst converted.

The remainder of the half continued with Chesham making a strong impact, relying on their physicality and fitness to hold Kingsclere at bay. The Stags began to take control of the game but were not being rewarded for some illegal play by the home side, who were working hard to hold Chesham out. Kingsclere players started dropping to the floor, but the half finished with no further points being scored and Kingsclere held onto a 5-3 lead.

The second half saw Chesham kicking off with the sun at their backs, and determined to turn their dominance into points. However, it was not to be as they found it hard to break in to Kingsclere's red zone. Whenever the Stags strung phases together and broke down the defence, they found penalties going against them and the territory being lost. Kingsclere extended their lead with a well struck penalty, and Chesham went into the final ten minutes only five points behind.

The Stags continued to attack strongly and began to make numerous line breaks, one strong run by Hirst seeing him stopped inches short by an impressive tap-tackle. Chesham continued to press into Kingsclere's 22 but again found penalties going against them. The scrum was working well and providing Captain and No. 8 Jonny Reynolds the ability to play with front foot ball, but Chesham were unable to find their way over the line. Both sides were reduced to 14 men for the final minutes as a late hit on Hirst and retaliation saw two players yellow carded. The final play of the game saw the Stags awarded a five metre attacking lineout, but the throw was ruled not straight and Chesham fell to a frustrating loss.

"Our already damaged confidence and a questionable try had us chasing the game from the start, and a strong opposition was able to keep us at bay for the duration of the game" said injured captain Gareth Wehrle. "We just made too many errors and didn't capitalise enough on our opportunities, and we really need to step up our game for the rest of the season."

"We had players out of position and we learnt a lot, but our dominance was not rewarded. I'm frustrated as we performed well but could not score the points" added head coach Rocky Clark.

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