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Chiltern charge out of the National League blocks
AMERSHAM & Chiltern RFC are top of the pile after they made a winning start to their National League 3 South West season for the firs time in their history last weekend.
They hammered Worcester Wanderers 38-5 to kick off the season on the front foot for the first time since they were promoted to the national leagues.
Head coach Craig Burgess said: “In the last two seasons we’ve had huge defeats on the first day.
“Normally we’re on the back foot but hopefully we can take the confidence from this result into the first month.”
Amersham’s win came despite fielding a depleted team following a series of pre-season injuries.
Consequently, they were slightly rusty in the first half before moving through the gears after the break.
Burgess said: “We’re pleased with the win and the scoreline, but we had a lot of possession that we didn’t convert into points.
“We could’ve put more points on them if our execution was better.
“But we were patient and went up a level in the second half, which was pleasing.”
Ross Bugden kicked Amersham into an early lead with a third-minute penalty, before his pass sent Dave Skelton over for the game’s first try.
Bugden then went over himself just before the interval, converting his own try to make it 17-0 at the break.
The second-half was more of the same.
Skelton charged down a Worcester clearing kick soon after the restart and Chris Jack pounced to ground try number three.
Bugden’s conversion made it 24-0 and that’s how it stayed until the final 12 minutes, when two more tries courtesy of Matt Gilbert and Skelton completed the rout.
For Burgess, it was a dream start to his tenure.
The 28-year-old has been part of the coaching team for a few seasons, assisting Matt Allen and Alun Rise, before being promoted at the end of last season.
He said: “It didn’t feel that different. Over the last few years I’ve always felt responsible for moving the club forward so it didn’t feel that different.
“It’s an honour more than anything.
“I’m not the most experienced and a lot of the players will have more experience at this level.
“I’m certainly not arrogant enough to think I don’t need to involve them in decisions and I think that way they buy into it a lot more too.”
Amersham will hope to make it two wins in a row when they host Avonmouth Old Boys on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Marlow endured a difficult first day of the new rugby season as they went down 44-14 at home to Reading in South West 1 East.
They go to Salisbury on Saturday while High Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Chesham and Princes Risborough begin their respective league campaigns this weekend.
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