Chelmsford turn in best performance of season in defeat to Wanstead

Chelmsford in action against Wanstead. Picture: ROB EVANS

Chelmsford in action against Wanstead. Picture: ROB EVANS - Credit: Archant

Chelmsford’s first team faced Wanstead at home with another new line up thanks to injuries and availability, writes Annie Coulson.

Chelmsford Bluebirds in action against Woodbridge. Picture: LOU GRIMWOOD

Chelmsford Bluebirds in action against Woodbridge. Picture: LOU GRIMWOOD - Credit: Archant

Wanstead have only lost one game this season and so the game was never going to be easy for Chelmsford.

But Chelmsford rose to the challenge and although they lost 36-14, both players and coaches agree that this game saw their strongest performance in some time.

Chelmsford showed skill and drive in their attack, keeping the ball in hand and driving up the field. Unfortunately, in defence, Chelmsford saw too many players drawn in and gaps left between the centres and wing allowing Wanstead space to score. Chelmsford’s two tries were scored by Marcus Pottinger, off the back of a good forward drive, and Ross Toomey, chasing an excellent kick from Rhys Whitlock.

Chelmsford’s Bluebirds faced Woodbridge at home, with a new and inexperienced squad. Woodbridge are second in the league having only lost to Harwich, and so Chelmsford expected a tough fight.

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Early injuries necessitated frequent changes to the forward pack, with players having to adapt quickly to new positions to deliver the strongest performance.

The Chelmsford defence held strong for all bar the last 20 minutes of the first half, in which Woodbridge scored four tries and converted one.

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The Bluebirds picked up their performance again and Woodbridge did not score in the second half.

Unfortunately, the conditions were so windy that Chelmsford were not able to demonstrate the speed of their backs by shipping the ball out with long passes.

Both teams learned this quickly as knock on after knock on meant the game was largely centred around scrums. The Chelmsford Ladies came away positive, as they showed drastic improvement on last week’s game.

Particularly notable performances came from Zoe Wager, Karly Nightingale and Marcys Jackowska and debut performances from Holly Whiting, Kerry Judson and Lauren Kane were also particularly impressive with none of the three having played rugby before.

Chelmsford’s veteran team were given a walkover by Thurrock and remain top of their league. The Undertakers found a last minute replacement game against Writtle 2s and came away with a 38-7 victory.

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