Chingford Rugby Club

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Chingford 19 – 11 Woodford

Table toppers Chingford continued their winning ways last Saturday when they visited Woodford in an eagerly awaited local derby. Chingford took control for first 12 minutes scoring two good converted tries in the process. The first try came after Woodford were penalised just inside their half, and De Klerk stepped up to have a shot at goal, the kick was short & Woodford put in a good clearance & Chingford were then 10 metres into opposition territory. From the resulting lineout Chingford put on a might effort, forming a maul and driving the less able Woodford pack right the way over their own line from a good 35 metres out, with John Burnage in total control to score the try, De Kerk converted. Woodford then got good field position before Steve Piper turned the ball over, looked up, and spread the ball wide, eventually finding David Knight who sprinted away from the covering defence, before he unselfishly passed the ball onto Matthew Lockwood who scored Chingford’s second try. De Klerk once again converted and Chingford were 14 – 0 ahead, with only 12 minutes gone. Chingford then went to sleep for the remainder of the first half. Woodford then managed a period of pressure, and went close to scoring before registering a penalty, and then Chingford conceded their first try in over 300 minutes of rugby, when Woodford’s winger touched down, for an unconverted try. Solid defence by Chingford kept Woodford out, with Carlsson putting in some massive hits, and Bonney using all his experience.

Chingford kept their pyjamas on for most of this half, and could not get any phase play together, with individual mistakes costing the visitors dear, and thus giving the spirited Woodford side a slim hope of beating the league leaders, and when they kicked another penalty to cut the difference to only 3 points, maybe Chingford were about to let this unbeaten run slip.

With the pressure now on both sides, Woodford’s fly-half had the opportunity of to level the scores, but the nerves got to him, and he sliced a relatively simple chance, and Chingford could clear their lines. With the game on a knife edge, Chingford still continued to take the wrong options and not play to the game plan. But once again it was a turnover that would cost the home side, when Thomas Lockwood came on for his injured brother Matthew, he dislodged the ball during a tackle, and Bonney pounced on the ball. With his legs going ten to the dozen, the elder statesman of the team showed the young guys how to do it, when he sprinted at least half the length of the field, to score a great individual try. De Klerk failed with the conversion, but Chingford ran out winners 11 – 19, a sign of a good team is when they play poorly but still win.

After the game Chingford’s backs coach said “A very difficult game, Woodford played to their strengths, a solid kicking game, and driving line outs. We found it difficult to adopt a different strategy which was very frustrating. To be honest our application in the critical areas of the game were below par for us, and the boys know that. We pride ourselves on our ball retention, counter rucking, consistent scrum and brutal defence, today we didn’t fully front up in those areas, but we proving to ourselves that we can win tough and the belief in the team is very strong. Eton manor will provide another test in 2 weeks, as will every other team we come up against. We are in a good position and we want to maintain that position, the boys deserve to be where they are right now!”