On a glorious sunny day, ideal for running rugby, Wellington welcomed Paignton to the Athletic Ground last Saturday, writes Allyn Chetland. Chiefs made numerous changes from the previous weeks squad with Josh Hancock & Ollie Price replacing Jack Richards & Ryan Marke at prop, Captain Patrick Jarman made his first start of the season replacing George Hodgson at outside half with Vinny Gordan & Lee Wadham coming in on the bench.
In front a large home support Chiefs started very brightly and scored within the opening minutes of the half via an unconverted try by Danny Lee after an impressing & unstoppable driving maul following a lineout. A period of dominance, in both terms of territory & possession, followed for Chiefs with numerous chances being created but they had to wait until just before the 30 minute mark before they crossed the line again. Nev Pitman benefitted from a deft cross field kick by Paddy Jarman to cross for another unconverted try in front of the clubhouse. It was Paignton’s turn to have the upper hand in the final minutes of the half but were held at bay by Chiefs defence, however they were successful with a penalty kick to have something to show for this effort – half time score 10-3 to The R&Bs.
The second half was a more even affair in terms of possession & territory with both teams having scoring chances however it was Cam Venn who broke the deadlock with a well taken try from 25 metres to extend Chiefs lead. Fullback Alex Davey made no mistake with extra points from in front of the posts. Paignton responded with a well organised attack which resulted in another penalty kick to eat into Chiefs lead. Further elongated pressure by Chiefs saw Tim Jenkinson use his experience & strength to crash over for unconverted try following a series of rucks on Paignton’s try line. With 15 minutes left of the game Danny Lee scored his second try of the match, an individual effort this time from 30metres out to effectively put the result of the game beyond any doubt. The extra points could not be taken & there were was further scores – final score 27-6 to The R&Bs.
A well-deserved bonus point win against a resilient & organised Paignton side. Ollie Price in his first start of the season impressed at prop, Chris Kitto once again had another fine game in the second row whilst Chris Batts had another solid game at centre. With the injured players hopefully back fit for next week game this will cause some difficult, but welcome, selection headaches going forward.
Next week sees the squad travel to Saltash. The Cornish side gained promotion along with Chiefs last season but have struggled so far this season, however, Saltash have some excellent players and will be looking to gain revenge for the two losses last season. The two encounters last season were highly competitive & entertaining so Chiefs will know this will another difficult away trip.
Squad: J.Hancock, J.Dyke, O.Price, R.Walker, C.Kitto, D.Lee, L.Phillips, C.Venn, T.Jenkinson, P.Jarman(c), T.Hart, C.Batts, R.Hooper, N.Pitman, A.Davey, W.Hinchcliffe, L.Wadham, V.Gordon.