Chester 39 South Leicester 6
CHESTER racked up a handsome home win on Saturday – but it wasn’t enough to spare them a post-match rollicking from coach Rob Foden.
The hosts displayed some scintillating rugby in the first period, playing at pace and moving the ball quickly. But after the break they retreated into their comfort zone and relied on hard work and endeavour – prompting some harsh words from Foden.
Captain Sean Green said: “I don’t suppose many teams will get shouted at like that after winning by 33 points, but it shows where we’re at and the level of performance we must set for ourselves.”
Chester started at a pace that left South Leicester gasping for breath and having to give away penalties to keep the hosts off the scoreboard. The referee’s patience was tried to the limit by the fifth minute when he sin- binned South’s centre, followed a minute later by their second row.
With the visitors down to 13 men, the crowd was stunned to see South take a 6-0 lead thanks to a pair of penalties.
But with parity restored, the game finally swung back Chester’s way and for the following 10 minutes became the Simon Love show. The match-winning hero of last season’s Twickenham triumph put his pace to full use to score a hat trick of tries. Tom Foden slotted two of the three conversions to put his side 13 points ahead.
Right on half time, Chester scored the try of the day. No8 Ross White gathered a missed clearance and was given the chance to showcase his pace and drive deep into the opposition half.
With the defence scrambling back he found fellow back rower Chris Lewis, who immediately passed to the hard working James Farrell to score in the corner. Foden added the extras to make it 26-6 at the break.
Chester kept the scoreboard ticking over early in the second half, Foden kicking a penalty before his clever kick behind the South defence allowed wing Ed Chantler to gather a difficult ball and score.
The Hare Lane crowd expected that to be the cue for Chester’s backs to showcase their skills – but instead the rest of the contest turned into a battle of the two packs.
Chester’s only other try of the day was scored by Sean Green, who broke his duck for the season with a fine individual effort in the corner.
Improving Chester go to mid-table Longton tomorrow.