Clifton v Chippenham
By Nicholas Sproull
U16s beat Chippenham
We've had some tough and close battles with Chippenham in the past couple of years.
But this low-key affair on the first team pitch ended up more like a training game with both sides scoring freely, resulting in a 49-36 win for us.
At one stage we led 41-7 well into the second half, but our defensive intensity seemed to dip from that point.
Having said that, we did put together some good attacking rugby through the backs to score some excellent tries.
In fact all of our eight tries came from the backs, while Chippenham mainly enjoyed their success through their pack.
Both sides were well down on numbers - with half-term ski trips taking their toll - so we played 13-a-side. And after an injury loss for Chippenham, Ruben, Callum and Tom Sims all took their turn to pull on a red shirt for the visitors.
Tries from Kit, Sam C (2), Sam S and Finn took us to a 29-0 half-time lead. These came from good hands in the backs as we looked to spin the ball wide and make the most of our pace.
Chippenham made good use of their power in the forwards to earn a penalty try from a driving maul at the start of the second half.
Olly Hill and Kit struck back with tries to make it 41-7.
Then Chippenham brought it back to 41-19 with two tries.
Perhaps a little rattled by this we then made an eccentric decision to kick a penalty on their 22 when we might have done better to go for a try. This made it 44-19.
Chippenham then pegged us back with a try before Olly Hill went over again to make it 49-24.
Two more tries from Chippenham brought the Barbarians style match to an end.
Even though our collective defence fell away somewhat in the second half, there were some excellent individual performances.
Jonty continued to give a tackling masterclass after his excellent match on tour, while Sam S, Olly Hill and Grubby put in some eyecatching hits.