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RUGBY: Chard 2nds pushed into submission by powerful pack
6:10pm Monday 16th December 2013 in Somerset Sport
AFTER two successive victories Chard 2nds were beaten 43-8 away to Clevedon in Tribute Somerset 1.
They started the game brightly showing good, positive drive and purpose.
The first half was an attritional battle with the sides looking evenly matched.
Chard looked sharper and more threatening in midfield, but the strong, gusting wind was making handling difficult and numerous passes went astray or were spilled.
Lively scrum half Doug Caddick, who again had impressed, left the field injured which meant a re-shuffle the hosts could have done without.
Chard were awarded a kickable penalty after 25 minutes, duly converted by fly- half Sam Mouland.
Clevedon’s bulky and heavy pack were starting to gain an edge as they effectively kept the ball tight and made short territorial gains at a time, denying Chard the ball.
Clevedon scored just before half time with a streaky try when the ball squirted out from a scrum and their No9 got to it first.
Sadly for Chard they made a disastrous start to the second half by conceding a second try.
At 3-14 they were chasing the game and tending to force the pace unnecessarily or pursue bad positions.
Clevedon sensed their short driving game, using probably the heaviest pack in the league, would seal the game – and so it proved.
They patiently achieved good field position in the home 22 and rumbled their big forwards over the line time and again.
Clevedon scored six second half tries, all by the forwards except for when their full-back cut the line from deep.
Frustration mounted for Chard as their commendable attacking intent produced more wind-assisted handling errors.
Things to cheer were in short supply until Phil Goodridge-Reynolds fielded a high ball deep in his own half, pirouetted his way past two bemused, would-be tacklers, and made good ground over half way. It was the biggest territorial gain of the half.
Late in the game prop David Biss, whose excellent technical application had seen him completely dominate his much bigger opponent in the scrums, was justifiably rewarded for his big-hearted performance with a try following good driving by the Chard pack.
Chard’s next game is at North Petherton on January 4.