MEN’S RUGBY: Chalcraft grabs hat-trick as Towcestrians get off to a flyer

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Towcestrians kicked off the new season in style, thrashing newly-promoted Swanage and Wareham 59-3.

Tows put their stamp on the game early on with last season’s player of the year, Pepe Nanci, breaking to put in winger Alex Chalcraft for the first try.

Scott Browne converted on his return to the Tows team and the away side soon scored again, with wing Adam Wilkinson dotting down.

Browne again converted for a 14-0 lead.

The home side looked powerful in the scrum and gave Tows some concern, but with the visiting backs looking threatening with ball in hand, a quick turnover saw Chalcraft fly in for his second of the day.

Swanage did get on the scoreboard with a penalty, but even a Calum Threlfall yellow card couldn’t prevent the Tows lineout drive giving skipper Zac Osborne his second try in as many weeks.

Tows held a comfortable 26-3 lead at the break and the second half continued in the same vein, with Liam Wilkinson scoring after the home side misjudged their own lineout.

Straight from the kick-off, good hands gave Chrissie George a try, before a Ben Roe break put in debutant James Hales for a score.

Calum Jones and a hat-trick try from Chalcraft rounded off the scoring in a comfortable bonus-point win.

This week, Tows are at home for the first time this season as they host Grove.

Newport (Salop) 36 Old Northamptonians 3

The ONs were well beaten in their first game in National League 3 Midlands since the 2011/12 season.

Newport were on top throughout, scoring five tries,four of which were converted.

The away side kicked off with the advantage of the diagonal wind at their shoulders and took an early lead with a try from centre Hendry Vaka, converted by Liam Holder.

The ONs regained the kick-off but despite showing good ball retention and continuity they made little ground as aggressive tackling repeatedly forced them backwards.

A successful kick from Holder after the ONs were penalised at a rapidly retreating scrum took the home side further ahead, but they fell offside at the restart and Alex Rose’s penalty put the ONs on the scoreboard.

Possession from another strong Newport scrum gave them a chance to move the ball wide, but Tim Cardall won a penalty at the breakdown.

The ONs were struggling to get out of their 22 as Newport mounted a series of attacks and when they came in at the side of a driven Newport lineout, a scrum was chosen.

After two pushover attempts were illegally stopped, the inevitable penalty try was awarded, giving Holder a simple conversion and Newport a 17-3 lead.

Kieran O’Connor was later forced into touch inches short and as the half drew to a close, Cardall broke clear, but Newport were able to clear.

ONs won an early scrum in the second half, but as they drove forward the ball was turned over and Holder picked up to race the length of the pitch to make the score 22-3.

This lead was extended shortly after when the Newport pack drove over from short range.

The ONs lost captain Alex Crofts to a yellow card for a breakdown offence and Vaka scored his second try late on to add extra gloss to the scoreline.

This Saturday, ONs are at home to Nuneaton.