Witney 0 – Chinnor 58
By John Vaughn
It’s on mornings like this that makes all the hard work and preparation from the boys and coaching team really worthwhile. After a spectacular display of 15 man running rugby, high on skill, support and endeavour Grant and his merry men were purring in satisfaction, just so happy to see the boys continue in their improvement. It was a mark of the quality of display and the manner in which it was played that many of the Witney parents said how much they had enjoyed watching the boys, true Rugby spirit.
Grant had masterminded this display by hosting a coaching pow wow in the Six Bells on Thursday night and then travelling back from his beloved Barnstaple on Sunday morning. Something he will now have to replicate every week so as not to break the spell.
It seems that the new warm up routine has succeeded in waking the boys from their weekend slumber and hopefully we now will start all games with such a bang. Within 15 minutes Chinnor were an incredible 26-0 up after unleashing an unstoppable power, running game from all positions on the pitch. Oscar opened the scoring after a turnover he exploited a gap on the blindside of the ruck to power over from 35 metres. Chinnor immediately attacked again and with so many options to pick from it was proving very difficult for Witney to plug all the gaps. James H had an excellent game distributing quickly and efficiently, keeping the tempo high and picking his runners wisely. Theo crossed on five minutes, working hard to support a Tom C bust and dotting down under the post. Quickly followed by a trademark Freddie break from deep, beating his opposite and then accelerating away from 80 metres. A good way to celebrate his birthday
When Witney did attack any loose ball was immediately pounced on and then moved into space. Nathan got on the end of a kick through from Freddie then showed excellent pace and footballing skills to control the ball and beat the defence to the touchdown. Nathan quickly followed with his 2nd after outstripping the cover after another steal in midfield. 38-0 at half time.
The boys fully brought into the game plan of running every penalty and moving the ball away from the congested areas with 2 quick passes. This means they had to work hard off the ball to realign and support the ball carriers something they all did with aplomb.
What was so pleasing to see was every one of the squad made a telling contribution to this scintillating performance. Not just the usual boys in the limelight but some first class performances all round, from Tom R on the rampage, Archie and Jaco with aggressive defence and Joe L with a turbo charged second half. Joe carried with real presence and after making huge yards up the middle he finished off another sweeping move with a fantastic angle at pace to crash over.
Somewhat bamboozled Witney tried to use the elements in the second half to kick themselves out of trouble. This plan was rather flawed as it just gave Harry the opportunity to showcase his fantastic footwork and silky sidestepping. Weaving through the defence he scored a wonder solo try. Jake then took another defensive kick over his head and linked well to see Ben W score a super winger’s finish, diving into the corner. This proved to be a popular score and Ben was mobbed by his team mates.
Ben was visibly growing in confidence and when he received the ball five minutes later he seemed to be well marked by a host of defenders. Ben had other ideas and stepped the cover, cut inside and dived under the last ditch tackle for his brace.
Hopefully Jimmy recovers quickly from his unfortunate injury just prior to the game, George W did an excellent job as cover for hooker and then showed his ability to play the last 15 as scrum half.
The boys know what they’re capable of but also know not to get complacent, there will be much tougher opponents. The whole squad need to keep working hard and ensure they bring the same focus and intent to all future games. It’s a tough ask, but we know they can do it!