Cranleigh RFC I - 20 Chipstead - 24
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Poor Defence Could Ultimately Prove Costly
In a big game for both sides Chipstead started the brighter using a simple loop move in the backs and taking advantage of some poor defence to open the scoring. Cranleigh struggled to get going with the stronger Chipstead pack causing the home sides scrum problems.
Cranleigh finally started to get a bit of momentum and worked their way into the Chipstead 22 where due to some good pressure Chipstead conceded a penalty which was slotted over by Will Davies. With the score now at 3-7 the Cranes looked to get their game going but alas the same loop move which was used for the first led to another with some good running from the opposition fly half. By half time the Cranes were 3-14 down.
The Cranes, knowing that their first half performance was not good enough, looked to redeem themselves at the start of the second half a good collection from kick off, which led to the ball going through various forwards hands with some good off loading. Quick ball from the ruck was shipped out to Cranes wing Dave Smillie and then brought back inside to lock Pete Barraud to finish the move off over the line to get Cranleigh’s first try of the afternoon, making it 10-14.
Cranleigh looked to keep the pressure going and with the opposition down to 14 men due to a sin binning they again sought to attack. Some good running from centre James Moore and a decent pick up from skipper Christian Morris led to Cranleigh’s second try, Morris touching the ball down over the line.
With the score now 15-14 Cranleigh should have sealed the game but Chipstead, now back up to 15 men counter attached hard, as Cranleigh were now reduced to 14 men, as flanker Andrew Morris was sin binned for infringement.
The Chipstead pressure led to a try from their powerful forwards, putting the visitors once again in the lead at 15-19. The Cranes rallied and once again started playing some good rugby, responding with another try of there own as Barraud crashed over for his second of the afternoon.
At 20-19 if the Cranes had stayed switched on they surely would have won, but a simple lineout move from Chipstead and poor defence from the Cranleigh lineout allowed a Chipstead forward a free run over the Cranleigh line.
With the score now 20-24 Chipstead were able to see the game out and Cranleigh were left thinking what the result would have been if they had stayed focused throughout the game.
The game produced some good entertaining, attacking rugby from both teams but also some poor defence which will have to improve if both teams are to avoid the drop.