FOR Nic Corrigan and Chester this season in National League Two North is all about respect – and their hard-fought victory away at Otley might just make more sides sit up and take notice.
Rhys Hayes’ 75th-minute penalty sealed a 31-27 win, indeed the fly-half’s haul of 16 points, coupled with two tries for centre Richard Varkulis proved the difference.
But director of rugby Corrigan insists it is all about the group and their hardcore group of fans who made the trip to West Yorkshire worthwhile.
Chester now sit comfortably in mid-table but for Corrigan it is the manner in which his troops go about their business that is most pleasing.
“That is our third away win this season, after wins at Caldy and Sheffield,” he said. “It’s about trying to earn the respect and we’ll continue to do that.
“I’d like to think we have earned the respect of the sides in this division this season, the league table doesn’t lie.
“I’m delighted for the group of players and everyone connected with Chester, the supporters – everyone. We have some great travelling support, including everyone, there was probably somewhere in the region of 60 to 75 of them and this win is for them.
“It’s also about the team and what they have achieved, but it’s just one game on the way in our first season in National Two North.
“We can be immensely proud of our efforts. As a group of players they are enjoying themselves and they can be quite happy.”
It was a thrilling contest at Cross Green and Chester came from behind several times to earn victory.
Ben Steele, Chris Gemmell and Arnold Ellison all crossed for the hosts but two Varkulis efforts, sandwiched in between Mike Craven’s 18th-minute try, was enough to tee up another away day triumph.
The impressive Hayes then took charge with a drop goal to swing the pendulum back into Chester’s favour on 58 minutes with the score 28-27. But, after watching a couple of nervy moments as the game wore on, Corrigan admits there are still some things to work on ahead of Luctonians’ visit next weekend.
“I’m relieved, but there are some areas we still need to work on and look at,” he added. “There were some errors, but that’s league rugby.
“We can perhaps be more clinical, we will focus on that over the coming week most likely.”
SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 of SSE Energy Credits available for clubs to win. To find out how go to www.SSERugby.com
See full story in the Chester Leader