Ross-on-Wye......... 27

Cirencester ............14

Cirencester returned from the Christmas break with a defeat against league leaders Ross-on-Wye.

The visitors were in for a difficult game against Ross-on-Wye who have not lost at home for two years.

Their optimism was tested early by the home side kicking a penalty.

This shook Cirencester into action as they dominated possession and territory, but Ciren were often wasteful when in possession and didn't take their chances when they arose.

Finally, after further pressure the away side got on the scoresheet with a try from Matt Berry with the Ciren open-side bursting over to score the much-deserved try. Joe Hammond added the conversion.

Cirencester were defending with great tenacity, showing great spirit and fight.

Sometimes their eagerness resulted in penalties, and Ross were awarded their second penalty of the game and made it 6-7.

Ciren, once again, came surging back with a big forward drive, which the hard-working Ciren prop Gareth Owen broke from to score a very well taken try, with Hammond adding the conversion to give Cirencester a 6-14 lead.

As the first half came to a close, Ross gained field position with a kick to the corner, and with a well worked front peel from the line-out they scored their first try of the game in the 52nd minute of the first half, making the half-time score 13-14.

The second half was no less intense with both sides determined to gain the vital win. But with a second yellow card shown and with a player down Ciren were under increased pressure, which resulted in a converted Ross try to give them a 20-14 lead.

Ciren now had to dig deep which they duly did with the impressive eight Alex Hammond cutting a great line from a flat Oli Newman pass to score under the posts, which the referee judged to be forward and the try was not given.

Late on, with Ciren chasing the game, a spilled pass allowed Ross to score their third try.

Coach Andy Deacon said: "It was a difficult game as they've not lost at home for two years.

"We showed hunger, desire but we were just a bit inaccurate at times, especially in the first half when we had a lot of possession and didn't score. It's fine margins in this league."