Horsham helpless as Chichester RFC's perfect start continues
Chichester made it two wins from two in London one south when they defeated Horsham 38-12 at Coolhurst.
Played on the 4G pitch, the sunshine attracted a large crowd as Chichester brought in Richard Ives at prop and Gareth Davies at scrum half, with Ben Polhill starting his 24th season in the 1st XV on the bench.
The first 15 minutes were punctuated with infringements and handling errors.
Having missed an early penalty, from 35 metres, Chichester made the breakthrough on the quarter-hour.
After good work by the forwards, advancing the ball towards the Horsham 22m line, Gareth Davies spun the ball to Rhys Thompson whose run split the defence. A pass out to Eddie Jenkinson beat the last man for the first try. Conversion missed.
On 25 minutes Blues were penalised and from the resulting kick to the corner and lineout the Horsham inside centre breached the defence to dot down. Converted, 7-5.
Chichester’s response was immediate with an infringement contesting the restart. Blues kicked for the corner and from the lineout the pack drove over the line with Josh Brown touching down, 7-10.
Two promising moves from Horsham were well defended by Blues on their 22m line. With the clock running down, a series of Horsham infringements provided Chichester with a scrum five metres out. The drive for the line was stopped but, from the breakdown, Richard Ives dived over and Tom Blewitt converted.
The start of the second half saw Blues up the tempo, but play was punctuated by the referee’s whistle and an inordinate number of scrums.
On 52 minutes the breakthrough came with a series of pick and goes five metres out before Harry Seaman delivered a ball to Jenkinson, running an unstoppable line, to score his second try and secure a bonus point. It was cConverted by Blewitt to make it 7-24.
Four minutes later, having won a scrum against the head, the ball was passed out to Thompson who chipped through the defensive line, gathered the ball and offloaded to Jenkinson who scored his third try under the posts. Another Blewitt conversion took it to 7-31.
Horsham started to increase the pressure, pushing Blues back deeper into their own half, and were rewarded with a try in the corner. Conversion missed, 12-31.
Blues were reduced to 14 players when the referee produced a yellow card on 68 minutes. Captain Charlie Wallace rallied his team and Horsham were unable to take advantage.
With a minute left Seaman fed Thompson from the back of the ruck whose pass found Alex Margason.
The young winger made 30 metres before putting in a grubber kick towards the corner for Matt McLagan to chase. McLagan recycled it to the supporting Ross Miller who crossed the whitewash for Chichester’s sixth try, converted by Blewitt.
This was a good team performance from Blues and it was good to see veteran warrior Polhill still influential.
Chichester: Ives, Brown, Woods, Grinsted, Deavall, Conley, Makasi, Wallace (capt.), Davies, Thompson, Margarson, Jenkinson, Miller, McLagan, Blewitt, Seaman, Drayson, Polhill.
Chichester welcome Cobham to Oaklands Park this Saturday (3pm).