CHICHESTER head into the final phase of their debut National League season being told: Keep pushing hard until the very end.
The Blues have established themselves well at the higher level after winning promotion from London one south last spring, but know the hard work of the campaign is far from done yet.
Saturday’s home tussle with Amersham and Chiltern is the first of four games Chichester have left and represents a good chance to get back to winning ways after a battling defeat away to Hertford last time out.
The Blues are still eyeing a top-four finish but need a winning end to the season to achieve what would be a highly-creditable achievement given the standard of rugby played in National three London south east.
Amersham & Chiltern arrive still in danger of the drop but Chi director of rugby Paul Colley said: “Such is the competitive nature of the division that sides at the bottom present a real threat to those in the upper half.
“We travelled to Amersham for the first time earlier in the season and were given a very tough afternoon – although the Blues eventually came home with a win, it went to the wire and only a late drop goal sealed the win.
“Amersham can still claw their way out of the relegation zone and will come to Oaklands Park fully fired up to launch their charge to stay in the National League.
“We in turn will want to show the home crowd why we have done so well at this level and push from their current sixth place into the top four.”
Colley said the club could be proud of what they had achieved so far at national level.
He added: “If we manage to finish in the top half it will be a brilliant achievement for everyone involved at CRFC. But we want to push hard until the end of the season to really confirm their credibility as a National League outfit.
“As all clubs are, the Blues have been hit by a few injuries and so the squad depth will be tested and opportunities will arise in these remaining games for some of the promising young players to stake a claim.
The support this year has been great with several clubs stating the Blues get crowds far in excess of some in our league. So if you can get up to Oaklands Park this Saturday, your support would be much appreciated – kick-off is 3pm.”
Last weekend was a blank one for the first XV but on Sunday Oaklands Park was a sea of colour as hundreds of junior players from across the county took advantage of Chi’s hosting of the West Sussex West festival.