Chichester 112 Beckenham 15 London one south
IN THIS incredible game, Chichester set club records for points and tries.
They also passed 100 tries for the season – that in just 19 matches they have played so far.
Scorers were Rory Tanner (four), Phil Dickin (three), Tom Jackson, Sam Renwick, Dom Reid (all two) and Niall Goldie, Ben Polhill, Chris Wagstaff, Aaron Davies and Richard Adams.
With the boot, Henry Anscombe converted seven and Adams three.
Blissfully unaware of what was to come, Becks took an early lead with a penalty and scored a converted try after 30 minutes.
The rest of the time it was all Chichester – they ran riot until the visitors grabbed a consolation try in added time.
The electronic scoreboard operators struggled to keep pace with the tries and supporters could barely believe what was happening.
Becks had arrived with a weakened squad because of injuries to some key players and their defence was paper thin in the face of relentless quality rugby displayed by the Blues.
The referee is not allowed to stop a game before full-time in the league, so Chi had lots of practice in running, passing and finishing.
They are now in a race with Gravesend, Brighton and Sidcup to finish in the top two and they have to play all of them in a tough remaining fixture list.
Chi were without Billy Toone and Moses Kasujja, and Phil Dickin moved to number eight and Chris Wagstaff was at scrum half.
Young Harry Shonk at hooker and Dom Reid on the wing made their debuts. Both did well, with Shonk tackling solidly in the loose and Reid showing his pace.
Richard Adams and Aaron Davies were welcomed back on the bench after their lengthy injury absence.
After hesitancy in the first few minutes, Chi started a procession of attacks and tries with forwards and backs linking fluidly.
Eight tries were run in, those by Goldie and Jackson from long distance after first tackles were broken with no cover behind.
The others were well worked, featuring lineouts and long driving mauls, quick ball from a scrum in total domination, hard running and consistent support at the shoulder.
Becks’ try was a good one across the backs, and saw the outside centre taking full advantage from a missed tackle.
Nick Blount was in control in the air, Wagstaff was giving smooth service, while Anscombe was kicking intelligently into open spaces.
Jack Bentall powered forward in the centre and timed his passes for Renwick to feed the eager Tanner or Reid. Dickin, Goldie and Polhill secured almost total possession and Becks were left with scraps.
The score was 52-10 at the break and ten more tries followed, the best, individual efforts – two by Tanner and the one by Aaron Davies.
Tanner is in the mould of previous talented wingers Eddie Armah and Lee Evans. His mazy running included jinks, sidesteps, both-ways swerves and rapid acceleration.
Becks could do nothing to stop him as he streaked away for his third and fourth tries.
Davies came on from the bench and was a frightening sight as he surged from the back of a scrum and showed great speed for such a big man, running to the posts from 40 metres. He was also involved in the lead-up to a try by Renwick.
Adams celebrated his return to the fray after his long injury absence with the final try courtesy of Goldie.
It was sad to see Becks get such a hiding as they have been the club who have stayed longest in this league and have a proud history.
They now look as though they will be relegated with two other clubs below them.
They were very sporting despite this awful experience for them and Chi wished them better luck in future.
Chi must now go into their last games with confidence in their ability but knowing well that they face four teams – including Wimbledon – who have equal strengths.
Selection and tactical planning will be crucial.
Director of rugby Paul Colley said: “Wow, what an unbelievable game.
“Although undoubtedly Beckenham were not at full strength, the Blues were clinical in everything they did with some outstanding individual performances.
“Polhill was everywhere and Phil Dickin is in the form of his life.
“Wagstaff and Anscombe unleashed hell with Tanner backing up recent good performances with a pearler of a game.
“We as coaches had a hard time being critical.
“What can you say to 18 tries? But we know the big tests are to come.”
CHICHESTER: Turner, Shonk,
Belcher, Blount, Lindsay, Goldie,
Polhill, Dickin, Wagstaff, Anscombe, Reid, Bentall, Renwick, Tanner, Jackson, L Davies, A Davies,