Chipping Sodbury 31 - 7 Cheltenham Saracens

February 27 2018

Sodbury were keen to get back on to home ground and put the previous week’s reverse behind them.

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Chipping Sodbury 31 - 7  Cheltenham Saracens

Sodbury were keen to get back on to home ground and put the previous week’s reverse behind them. They were also keen to impress a gathering of former players who had been assembled by President Ian Aldous for one of his lunches, where the food is always a surprise. 

The opening exchanges were marked by the bone-jarring tackling of Dom Pullen and a rejuvenated scrummage. Sodbury were also taking no prisoners at the ruck, producing quick ball and handing out a torrid time to their visitors. The first points came from the metronomic boot of Jon Cook, who posted a perfect 5-out-of-5 in the game. Sodbury swept into Saracens’ half on the back of six rucks and, once the pressure started to tell, they infringed 20m out and Cook converted the penalty. 

With a stiff breeze in their faces Sodbury needed to play a tight passing game and some of the interplay between backs and forwards was excellent. 

Sodbury’s first try was a combination of power and cunning. They opted for a 5-metre scrum after Saracens conceded up a penalty to halt a six-ruck surge for the line. Scrum-half Tom Head picked up the ball from the resulting ruck and darted through a tiny gap to score. 

Saracens conceded another penalty on 5 metres that Sodbury opted once again to scrummage. There was to be no let-up as Sodbury’s big men dipped as one and Niall Kincaid guided the ball over the line before scoring.

Sodbury began the second period with more solid work from Steve Hopes, Butcher, and Tom Farthing. However the penalties started to pile up and Sodbury were required to work harder than needed to keep Saracens at bay. 

From a Sodbury box kick Bradley tackled the full-back beneath his own posts. He managed to strip the ball and pop it up to Dom Pullen who gratefully accepted it to score.

The visitors bagged a try after a spirited forward display and capitalised on penalties. On 30 minutes Sodbury secured a bonus-point fourth try after Bradley's delicate chip over the top. Tom Farthing’s raw pace was evident as he outstripped the turning defence and dived on the ball to score. 

Sodbury were kept at it by the visitors for the remainder of the game, but solid defence which was augmented by the introduction of Ollie Laidlaw, Dave Turner and Gavin Edgar from the bench kept them at bay. 

Photo credit to Jeff Gendall Photography.