Rugby union: Blackheath score 10 tries as perfect build-up to National League One season kicking off tomorrow

BY GRAHAM COX

Ten tries – five in each half – saw Blackheath cruise to a  66-22 victory at Worthing Raiders in their final dress-rehearsal prior to the start of the new National League One season.

Leo Fielding crossed twice within the first quarter, sandwiching a further try from Rafael Dutta.

Jake Lloyd and Freddie Owen then touched down. With Freddie Gabbitass striking four conversions the visitors led 33-7 at the break, Worthing’s only try the result of an interception.

Lloyd, with his second, Elliot Simmons and Craig Dowsett continued the scoring after the stoppage, before the National League Two side rallied with three tries of their own, but Alex Pickersgill and Dowsett rounded off a one-sided contest.

“After two slower, physical matches, it was a good opportunity to have a blow in an open game against a side prepared to run the ball around,” said Club head coach James Shanahan.

“It was a bit untidy in places – I’m not happy about conceding four tries – but it gave us a chance to put some passages of play together and try some different combinations.”

The real business starts tomorrow, with the visit of Chinnor to Well Hall in Blackheath’s opening match of the new campaign (3pm).

The Oxfordshire side may not be one of the more renowned names in club rugb – Blackheath completed a league double over them last term – but they have recruited strongly over the summer period.

“On paper Chinnor, along with perhaps Rosslyn Park, look to be strong challengers,” said Shanahan.

“I watched one of their recent games and 12 of the starting 15 have Championship experience, some have been involved in the Premiership.

“But it’s a long season and it’s not won and lost in the first of 30 matches. Like last season, six or seven sides will be in contention and I’m certain we’re going to be one of them.”

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