Esher title tilt falters at hands of Wharfedale

Sutton Guardian: Break away: Michael Macfarlane makes a dash for it but his try could not inspire Esher to victory Break away: Michael Macfarlane makes a dash for it but his try could not inspire Esher to victory

Backs coach Craig Chalmers insists Esher must bounce back with a bonus-point win after suffering a second consecutive defeat on Saturday, writes Paddy von Behr.
 

Esher, fourth in SSE National League One, slipped to a 28-26 defeat against Wharfedale to add to a heavy loss at Old Albanians the previous weekend.
 

And with league leaders Doncaster Knights also slipping up on Saturday, Chalmers was disappointed not to see his side capitalise – but he expects them to improve at Blackheath.
 

“We were responsible for our own downfall, to be honest,” he said.

“That is not taking anything away from Wharfedale but they are a team that we should be beating at home.
 

“Blackheath are fighting for their lives at the moment so we know it is going to be a tough game. We can win but we want to get five points as well.
 

“We have got to try and get a win and try to get the confidence back, but we have got to try and get four tries on the board as well. That should be the ambition every time we take to the field.”
 

A Mike MacFarlane try, and a conversion and penalty from Luke Daniels, put Esher in charge early on but Peter Synnott was sin-binned after just 20 minutes.
 

And Wharfedale got right back into the contest although the home side were rarely behind and led 26-21 with ten minutes left on the clock.
 

However, Esher lock Alex Bibic was shown a second yellow card ten minutes from time and a converted penalty try shortly after was enough for the visitors to clinch victory.
 

Chalmers was angered by referee Thomas Davis’ decision not to reduce Wharfedale to 14 men earlier in the game but he admitted the hosts lost their discipline.
 

“The referee should have sent their number seven off before that,” he added.

“Then I reckon we would have gone on to win the game comfortably.
 

“He had been sin-binned already and there was another incident with a professional foul but he copped out of the sending off.
 

“We had the opportunity to close it out in the second half but we had too many guys in the bin – ill-discipline cost us. It put us under a lot of pressure.
 

“There is a fine line between making good decisions in the ruck area and conceding a string of penalties. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
 

* SSE is a proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues and supports community rugby clubs throughout England to help them save money on their energy bills. To find out more visit SSErugby.com.
 

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