Chiswick Win By A Whisker

Rugby result - London New Zealand 10 Chiswick 11

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A late penalty kick by the home fly half, curving six inches left of the posts, allowed Chiswick to take the points from this ever-so-close encounter ( the home linesman actually flagged for a conversion, but the referee disagreed ). The same player had earlier scored two excellent tries, but failed with the conversions ( some kicking practice called for ?). So, lucky Chiswick. But also, brave Chiswick, putting in a huge number of tackles in distinctly unfriendly weather against a team with a number of strong ball carriers who always made good ground.

The early kicking by Chiswick was wayward, and it was one from just outside the 22 and straight into touch that led to a crucial lineout. Chiswick managed to win this, but the referee ordered a rerun, and a clean take set the home fly half free with a bit of room. The full back came into the line, and with an overlap situation, the fly half was allowed to dummy and cut inside for a touch down. Eight minutes gone.

Stung by this reverse, the Chiswick pack began to attack the home forwards, with the new front row of Ed Langdon, Glen Tucker and Stuart Parmeter in the thick of it. With Matt Cooper doing the strong-arm act, and Marc Jones trying to play like John Gibson and Marc Jones combined, Chiswick fought to achieve the ascendancy. The home tackling was very solid, however. Jon Joyce had to go off with a leg problem, and Ollie Hire joined the battle.

One home attack ended with the loss of possession after mauling over the Chiswick 22, but Gabriel Lowe, the Chiswick scrumhalf found the head of an All Black with his kick, so Chiswick gained no ground but their own lineout. Lowe kicked again after a clean Sam Hood take, and Adie Lewis did well to get to the ball first. Failing to pick it up, he kicked ahead, and Simon Hallett won a five or six person race for the touch down right in the corner. The brilliant conversion attempt came back from the near post, so Tom Duffy clearly had his dead ball kicking boots on. Thus Chiswick were on terms after twenty minutes, against the run of play.

With the All Blacks irritating the referee by flying over the top at ruck situations, Chiswick were finally getting into the game, but then almost conceded another score with a couple of poor clearance kicks. Luckily the home centre knocked on in an overlap situation. They created another overlap, and it required a superb smother tackle by flanker Ben Kelly ( who got better and better as the game progressed ) on the home lock to save Chiswick. The All Blacks now produced a sustained assault on the Chiswick line, getting over once, but with Langdon safely located under the ball. After several minutes, they lost the ball, and Lowe cleared up-feld. Tucker made a good break late in the half, but a forward pass was detected before Chiswick reached the home line. Right on the whistle, the All Blacks ran the ball from a lineout, their inside centre side-stepped past several tackles, and their fly-half got his second try.

The second half was played in better conditions, but the ground was now slippery. Lowe was regularly under pressure behind the scrum as the All Blacks broke very quickly, but with Chiswick settling down, play was pretty even. An All Blacks’ penalty kick went under the bar, but when they strayed offside, Duffy, gaining confidence, stroked it over the bar – two points in it, one quarter of the match to go. A couple of minutes later, he slotted an easier one from in front after the first sustained Chiswick attack of the game. Chris Halliwell made a break, but Jones just got caught, and then Graham Robbings uncharacteristically dropped the ball, as the attack continued. The home hooker was seriously involved in a late attack by the All Blacks, and Chiswick conceded the late penalty referred to at the beginning. Perhaps the All Blacks should have gone for a lineout in the corner.

Chiswick team :- Langdon, Tucker, Parmeter, Hood, Joyce ( Hire ), Robbings, Kelly, Cooper, Lowe, Hallett, Cattliff ( Townsend ), Halliwell, Jones, Lewis, Duffy

November 1, 2010