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Clifton 17 - 39 Canterbury

By Mike Barber

Error count the difference as Clifton struggle to apply pressure to league front runners

“when we turned the ball over, we got punished and that is something we will need to reflect and focus on for next week."” Matt Salter, Head Coach

Following 2 weeks break and the agonising defeat against Guernsey still fresh in the squad's minds, Clifton welcomed 2nd place Canterbury to Station Road and were looking to kick some momentum back into their league campaign.

However, Clifton started poorly and following a misplaced kick and over chasing defence, Canterbury smithed through the Lavender defence to score under the posts within 2 minutes.
Clifton then began to play in the right areas of the field and after a trademark Sam Goatley break, Will Pomphery came within 2 meters of the line. Following a good set piece and pressure, Clifton hit back with a try by Tom Francis to bring the scores back to 5-7.

Clifton were defending well against the league front runners but kept letting Canterbury off the hook and were unable to sustain pressure for prolonged periods with a penalty for crossing being awarded and converted to move Canterbury ahead 5-10.

Clifton continued to have plenty of attacking ball in the Canterbury 22 and when Canterbury's captain was yellow carded for a high shot, Clifton kicked for the corner. However, yet again they could not sustain pressure with the ball spilling forward inches from the line from the pick and drives.

Clifton were in the fight, until an interception pass on the stroke of HT, gifted Canterbury a try against the run of play to go in at Half Time 5-17 up.

Clifton started the 2nd half well and their attack looked promising before another error saw Canterbury kick ahead and the ensuing chase saw the visitors touch down to record the bonus point try with 3 minutes of the half played.

Clifton rallied 5 minutes later as a well worked line out and phase play saw them touch down under the posts and convert to bring the scores to 12-24. Canterbury were capitalising on Clifton's errors, with the Bristol men struggling to gain any continued pressure on their visitors which was beginning to look like the difference between the sides.

Canterbury once again scored and showed why they are in a commanding position in the league before adding a penalty to pull even further away. In the dying minutes, Mitch Spencer produced a delightful chip ahead to touchdown and bring the game to 17-31 with 4 minutes left to play.

Clifton were hunting the bonus point 4th try, until Canterbury struck again at the death to extend their win to 17-39 which although did not reflect the difference in quality between the two sides, did reflect the errors and ability to apply pressure. Canterbury were clinical and accurate thought the game and Clifton were not able to match the visitors in these areas.

Clifton now will look to regroup as they face relegation threatened London Irish away next week and then the re-scheduled game away to Birmingham & Solihull on the 23rd February in what will be an important few weeks in the squad's league campaign.

"Individually, Canterbury's detail was better than ours. We didn't apply pressure in the right areas for long enough and our ability to react to errors in our transitions was a big difference today. We did some good things in attack and defended well but when we turned the ball over, we got punished and that is something we will need to reflect and focus on for next week."
Matt Salter, Head Coach

Updated 20:33 - 17 Feb 2019 by Wyn Tingley

Where next?

London Irish: Clifton announce team to take on Wild Geese Harper, Harrison & Bullimore return to starting line up for Exiles clash
Pre Match catering for the last THREE home games - Next home game 23rd March The conclusion of the 2018/2019 season is fast approaching ! Check the following dates and what we will offer

Fixtures
Sun 24 Mar
a
Under 14s Nandos Cup
Friendly TBC
h
Under 15s Training
Training 10:00
a
Under 13s Nandos Cup
Cup 10:00
h
Under 12s Training
Training 10:00
h
Under 11s Training
Training 10:00
h
Under U10s Training
Training 10:00
h
Under 9s St Brendans
Training 10:00
h
Cup 10:00
h
Under 7s Training
Training 10:00
h
Under 6s Training
Training 10:00
h
Colts Training
Training 12:00
h
Under 16s Blackwood
Friendly 12:00
Fri 29 Mar
a
Under 11s Tour
Friendly 10:00
Sat 30 Mar
a
Under 7s Exter (Tour)
Friendly 10:00
a
1st XV Barnes
League 15:00
Sun 31 Mar
h
Under 14s Training
Training TBC
h
Under 15s Training
Training 10:00
h
Under 13s Bath
Friendly 10:00
a
Friendly 10:00
a
Under U10s Keynsham
Friendly 10:00
a
Under 9s Tour
Friendly 10:00
a
Under 8s Tour - Devon
Friendly 10:00
a
Under 6s Training
Training 10:00
h
Colts Training
Training 11:00
a
Under 16s Dings??
Cup 19:00
Fri 5 Apr
a
League 19:45
Sat 6 Apr
h
1st XV Rams
League 14:30
a
Friendly 14:30

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