Chard now unbeaten in six games after home win over Penryn
PUBLISHED: 11:51 27 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:51 27 October 2019
Chard were 20-10 winners when they hosted Penryn in a Western Counties West meeting, writes Glyn Hughes.
This was the first ever match between Chard and the Cornish side although a number of the visiting players had a familiar look about them as they had been signed from St Ives following the sad demise of that club.
Penryn started on the front foot and certainly looked dangerous when they ran the ball.
Indeed, Chard had a big let off early on when, but for a forward pass, the visitors would have strolled in under the posts!
The first quarter was fairly evenly contested, but Penryn took the lead when Chard failed to find touch from a penalty and the ensuing counter attack took play right up to the Chard line where an unfortunate error allowed scrum half Sam Carter to score close to the posts. Carter converted his own try to give his team a seven point advantage.
Penryn gave away a series of penalties, but two of them were reversed when Chard had too much to say and over reacted to the situation!
This lack of discipline saw a Chard player shown a yellow card and a spell in the sin-bin followed.
The second of the penalties was in a very kickable position and a successful effort from Carter left the Cornish side holding a 10-0 lead.
Chard came back well, but despite some penetrating runs from full-back Ben Stead and a good all round display from the forwards, the visitors held on to their lead through to the interval.
The second half saw another 'much improved' Chard showing and, not for the first time this season, they dominated from the re-start!
One of the Chard strengths this season is their ability to wear their opponents down and a lot of this is due to the hard work of the forwards and a very strong replacements bench which allows players, particularly in the front row, to be rotated throughout the match. Dave Biss, Luke Aplin, Joe Mainwaring, Liam Mustchin, and Ben Robinson all did a terrific job.
Penryn just could not cope with the home power and early on in the second half the award of a penalty try after several illegal attempts were made to stop the Chard momentum, saw the deficit closed to just three points at 10-7.
The Cornish side did themselves no favours during the second half as they had two players spend a spell in the sin-bin.
Chard edged ahead following a superb passage of play involving fly-half Ben Thomas and winger Charlie Roberts.
Chard had a 'free' play following the award of a penalty and a well judged high kick to the corner from Thomas was superbly taken by Roberts who out jumped several of the Penryn defensive players to score an unconverted try in the corner to leave the home side 12-10 to the good.
With the forwards dominating so much of the game Chard decided on several occasions to go for tries rather than kick penalties, but when this proved fruitless, they turned to the boot of Niall Crouch, who proceeded to put the ball between the posts to increase Chards lead to five points.
In the final quarter, Chard scored their third try to put the result beyond doubt and it came from some quick and alert play from centre Billy Brooks.
Crouch actually miss-timed a through kick behind the Penryn defence and it looked to everyone, except Brooks, that the ball would go beyond the dead ball line. Penryn hesitated but Brooks didn't and his unconverted touch down also meant that Penryn failed to get a losing bonus point.
Chard have now deservedly won some very close games in recent weeks and their current unbeaten run stands at six games.
Chard team: Stead, Roberts, Brooks, Crouch, Edwards, Thomas, Nicholls, Helliar, Wright, Tinley(capt), Gosden, Moore, Mustchin, Mainwaring, Biss.
Replacements;- Aplin, Robinson, Russo (all used)
There is no league fixtures for Chard teams next weekend although the 2nd XV are hoping top set up a Friday evening floodlit friendly which, if successfully arranged, will kick-off at 7.30pm.
Chard's next league action will see them travel to Saltash on Saturday week (November 9) with kick-off in Cornwall at 2.30pm.
This coming Saturday (November 9), Chard RFC will open their clubhouse for the screening of the Rugby World Cup final between England and South Africa and the usual excellent breakfast will be available and the club will be happy to welcome all who wish to join them for the match.