Chard beaten at Sherborne in pre-season game
- Credit: Archant
Pre-season didn’t go to plan this year again for Chard with opposition calling of, but they did get action when hosts Sherborne were able to field a XV for a floodlit fixture.
Chard travelled with plenty of players with a mix of not just 1st and 2nd XV, but also a sprinkling of third team players which ultimately did create something of a logistical nightmare for coach Tiny Baker and Luke Aplin, but they made sure everyone got on the pitch during the game.
Sherborne kicked to start and a missed catch gave the home side an easy try and kick at goal putting seven points on the board before the game had the chance to warm up, this clearly rattled the Chard team and things got worse with the loss of Chards 10 Matt Aires with an injury, from the restart Chard came under pressure again defending in their own half for long periods and not able to get much action with ball in hand.
Sherborne pressed forcing errors that lead to penalties in kick-able areas. but the hosts played for the try and eventually were awarded with a rolling maul over the line for another seven points.
Chard looked better at this stage and made inroads towards the Sherborne 22, but a suspected neck injury to a home player stopped play on 15 minutes and the ref blew for the end of the first quarter.
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Chard made five changes for the start of the second quarter and immediately had to soak up the pressure as Sherborne were again working well towards the Chard line, but the visitors soaked up the pressure for the majority of the play only conceding to a kick and chase with the home team putting the ball down in the left corner for an unconverted try.
Chard continued to defend their own line right up to the half-time whistle which blew to leave the home side 19-0 up. With another five changes made at the start of the second half, including the front row, Chard now had the slight slope and what seemed like a new game plan and it was Sherborne that now had to soak up all the pressure with the visitors camped in the hosts half. Chard were unlucky missing out on a try 10 minutes in with a loose ball on the line, but the continued pressure allowed Joe Manwaring to get over for an unconverted score.
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The last quarter allowed a complete swap of players once again putting the starting XV back on the pitch and Chard continued to go forward with Sherborne defending with everything they had and holding Chards attack until a drive finally got over for a second unconverted try.
Although beaten on the day, Chard took lots of positives from this game and with a few tweaks at training will be ready for their first league game next week against Wellington and of course the credit must go to Sherborne who got the win on the night and Chard wishes them the best of luck for the season.