Another well managed performance on a bitter day
By Brian Hopkins
Calne Travel well on a terrible day of weather to put another 5 league point display on and return to top of table
The rearranged fixture from 2 weeks prior landed on an England 6 Nations day! the visitors did not want to hang around today.
With the wind, rain and slope going in 1 direction Calne elected to fight the elements first half. THe first 10 minutes allowed the backs a lot of testing runs agains the homes side who tackled well and absorbed the pressure. Calne camped in the Combe Down half for long periods but the pitch being destroyed to a swamp proved difficult to make any running rugby. Combe down kept pinging the ball back down the field using the wind well and pushing Calne back.
16mins in Calne got the first blood by pressuring the scrum and charging down on a clearance kick, the Combe Down 10 struggled to catch the ball which was swerving through the air, Liam Kearny 9 dived through to place the ball down as it dropped to the floor.
Combe Down returned to the Kick and kept Calne down in the half using the weather well. A well worked Lineout move allowed them to go over in the corner levelling the score.
Calne continued to manage the game well and let the half run out at 5-5.
The second half took time to start, line-outs were swinging everywhere, scrums were going to whoever could get any grip a passages of play were lasting seconds as the ball was slipping out of the grips.
Eventually Calne started taking the advantages and pinning Combe Down back in the corner. A lovely chip through from Rhys Taylor saw both Adam Young and Brian Hopkins chase through, Adam collecting the bounce, and although tripped by the covering tackler was able to stretch and place the ball over the line. 5-10
The tide turned at this point. More play in the Combe Down half kept the pressure high. A tap penalty by Kearney supplied Hopkins, after stopping 5 yards short, Tom Morten crashed through and offloaded to Chris McAlonan to place down. Converted Rhys Taylor 5-17
Another kick chase down field allowed Liam Kearney to setup Mark Webber, who finished smartly under the posts. Bonus point in the bag, Game Managed!
Combe Down kept pressing but a stray offload allowed Rhys Taylor to intercept and to explode down the wing finishing well again under the posts to claim a well deserved victory .
A tough day for both teams to play in, a victory to Calne, a bonus point and then home to watch England roar to victory, a good day at the office.