Chiswick Fight For Third Place

Rugby result: Chiswick 22 Hampstead 16

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A sluggish start by Chiswick, where they lost the ball from their first scrum, having heeled it, and then allowed the Hampstead centres to run far too far at them, led to a penalty for the visitors, easily converted into three points.

Early on, Chiswick were having problems in their own lineouts, and were also being turned a bit in the scrums, creating problems for scrum half Steve Febrache. Marc Jones did well to capture a loose ball, and Febrache set Graham Robbings down the right touchline.

The former winger looked tempted to go all the way, for about three seconds, and then switched the ball to Ben Cheston, who linked well with John Gibson. Gibson then upset the referee somehow, and Hampstead cleared their lines.

Hampstead were very tidy in lineouts, scrums and mauls, and had the major share of the possession, but lacked invention in their play. When Chiswick got the ball, Tom Duffy was used to kick huge distances downfield, for territorial purposes. Chiswick were having to do a lot of tackling, and Gibson and Al Pickering were often prominent in this area. Losing their lineout proved costly for Chiswick, after a long kick by a Hampstead back found touch on the home 22.

A simple ball along the line left Adie Lewis with an unenviable option. Rather than staying with his man he felt he had to take the inside player, and the winger, receiving a good pass, took the tackle from Duffy, and got the ball inside to the outside centre for a good try, not converted.

After another fright, when Hampstead got over the line, but the ball was held up, Chiswick began to pull themselves together and pressurise Hampstead a little. It was a silly offence, however, leaving Hampstead temporarily with fourteen players, that marked a turnaround in the home fortunes. Lewis caught a poor clearance kick, shook off a couple of tackles, and laid the ball back well when tackled. The ball was shipped quickly to Cheston, who got past the first tackle, and slipped a pass to Marc Jones as the second tackler hit him. The winger forced his way to the corner, and Duffy’s splendid conversion was followed shortly by the half time whistle.

Chiswick’s lineout improved slightly in the second half, but Hampstead still shaded the possession. A penalty for tackling off the ball allowed Duffy to slot another kick through the posts. His next attempt hit the post, and Hampstead did well to cope with it as it rocketed back towards the home team. Chiswick managed to salvage a ball at the tail of their lineout, and good passing along the backs eventually saw Gibson breaking in the middle, and then Duffy recovering a dropped ( not forward! ) pass and putting in a good chip for Jones to run onto. The ball bounced too high even for the vertically stretched winger, but Lewis, following up whipped a smart pass to Keith Luckman, who put Rowan Tonkin in for a great try. The kick failed.

Chiswick’s purple patch continued, as Febrache managed to retrieve a turnover ball from a pile of bodies, and get it out to Al Pickering. The ball was cycled quickly via Cheston and Jones to (what’s he doing there) Stuart Parmeter. His well-timed pass set Duffy free, and the full back showed huge determination to get to the corner for another splendid try, which he then converted. Chiswick concentration slipped a little in the final ten minutes, and after a great break by their right wing had set up an easy try, which was not converted, Hampstead forced the home defence to concede a kickable penalty, which gave them another three points.

Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Joubert, Parmeter, Hood, Tonkin, Morris ( Pickering M ), Robbings ( Adams ), Pickering A, Febrache, Luckman, Lewis, Gibson, Cheston, Jones, Duffy

January 25, 2010