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Rise adopts Southern Hemisphere style
AMERSHAM & Chiltern RFC have gone south in their hour of need.
The club weren’t pulling up any trees in National League 3 South West with six defeats in seven, but coach Alun Rise has brought in a raft of fresh faces and two wins on the bounce is the direct result.
Dave Skelton from Australia and Kiwi Rei Manaia arrived just under a month ago. Tim Lloyd has also headed north and Rhys Keith is due any day.
In total Amersham have half a dozen antipodeans in the first team squad and Rise thinks they’ve had a positive effect.
He said: “They’ve brought a different culture and a new quality to us. I’m hoping they’ll stay for a couple of seasons to help us get some continuity.”
Two successive wins hints at their impact, although Saturday’s 19-8 dogfight with Malvern was more northern grit that southern style.
Playing in a howling gale, Amersham thought they’d missed the boat at half time.
They led 12-0 but that didn’t look secure ahead of 40 minutes against the wind.
Rise said: “The conditions were awful. If you were playing against the wind the ball went back over your head if you kicked it in the air.
“I said to Craig [Burgess, team manager, ‘Is this going to be enough? We’d missed some chances and in the second half they came out with guns blazing and scored a try in four minutes.
“I thought, here we go, it’s backs to wall again.
“But the guys really dug in and after that Wallingford struggled to get any front foot ball. The line-out functioned and the scrum was good. The forwards just dug deep and we got out of jail.”
Amersham even rumbled upfield to send Lewis Edwards crashing over near the end to deny Malvern a losing bonus point.
Earlier in the match Manaia and Adam Henderson had also crossed to send the team full-steam ahead into Saturday’s trip to Newton Abbot.