PHOENIX have suffered a heavy 43-7 defeat at Chipping Norton in their second match in the Berks, Bucks & Oxon (BBO) Championship this season.

The Taplow-based club has now recorded back-to-back loses at the start of the new campaign, having lost 22-8 to Berkshire Shire Hall the previous week.

Phoenix started brightly against Chipping Norton, with their dominant pack rewarded after a series of big carries with a penalty on the home five-metre (5m) line.

However, an unforced error after an ill-advised tap and go resulted in the hosts gaining some significant ground and eventually scoring a try at the opposite end of the pitch.

The visitors were undone again soon after the restart, with the elusive running of the Chipping Norton full-back causing havoc and leading to a score underneath the posts.

A further try from the home team was compounded by a missed penalty kick from the Phoenix fly-half on the stroke of half-time, with the scoreline reading 19-0.

The early stages of the second-half were littered with yet more Phoenix errors, which were ruthlessly punished by the Chipping Norton pacey backline.

However, the away side ensured they did not return from the 120-mile round trip scoreless when their powerful pack won a scrum against the head on the home 5m line, allowing number eight Callum Brodie to dot down.

Phoenix Director of Rugby, Tony Golder, said: “I thought we played some good rugby in patches and probably didn’t deserve to lose by such a heavy margin.

“We dominated in the scrum and lineout but, unfortunately, we let ourselves down with some sloppy errors and loose tackling.”

“We will focus on bouncing back in our first home game next Saturday.”

Phoenix will entertain Faringdon, who have won both of their opening matches this season, at Institute Road this Saturday (3pm).

Farnham Royal did not have a Championship fixture to fulfill last weekend but travel to Harwell on Saturday (3pm).

Drifters made it back-to-back wins in the BBO Premier following their 36-14 win against Tadley at One Pin Lane last weekend.

Simon Kalafusz and Simon Till both touched down twice in the victory plus their was a try from Cannon.

Drifters do not have a match this Saturday but travel to Wheatley on 29th September.

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