Banbury Bulls started and finished well but need to do better bit in between if they are to get back to winning ways against Swindon on Saturday.
Bulls went down 39-19 at Royal Wootton Bassett in Saturday’s South West One East fixture where they allowed the hosts to dominate for long periods.
Cashel Chilvers bagged a brace of tries but Bulls let slip the early advantage before finishing strongly. Jimmy Manley’s late try came too late to alter the outcome.
The early exchanges at Malmesbury Road saw Bulls start brightly with quick rucking and dominating possession. Skipper Ian Isham and Chilvers made big holes in a shocked defensive line, the rampant Bulls forwards earning several penalties.
Quick hands from left to right saw Bulls gain ground and, as several phases clocked up, Bassett got sucked into a ruck leaving a hole for Chilvers to crash over and Ed Phillips added the conversion.
At the restart the game ebbed and flowed with both teams attacking and defending well.
But slowly Bassett gained a foothold and, following a missed penalty, the attacks came thick and fast. A slick move ended with the Bassett winger step inside to score out wide.
The onslaught continued, again the Bassett pack turned over ball in midfield with the scrum-half getting it out quickly for another try.
The second half continued with Bassett soon dominating play again. Quick ball was again secured and poor tackling saw Bassett in again for an 18-7 advantage.
On the restart, some big runs through by the forwards sucked in Banbury’s defenders and, with gaps out wide, the Bassett centre dashed through outstretched arms to score again. The successful conversion stretched the lead to 25-7.
The game followed the same pattern and Bassett ran in two more tries with constant attacking to lead 39-7. Bulls finally found some form again with Isham, Chris Phillips and Chilvers starting to make holes in the home defence.
Ruck and maul moved Bulls up the pitch. Ed Phillips gained quick ball from the ruck base and spun the ball wide, stretching the home defenders. One more tackle and ruck saw a short ball into Chilvers who crashed over.
The restart saw Bulls retrieve the ball and work up the pitch, following several phases of play Bassett were all sucked in and left a big gap out wide. The Banbury backs put the ball through the hands and Manley crashed over.