Chiswick Hustled Into Defeat
Rugby result : Hemel Hempstead 27 Chiswick 15
With a number of players restored to the Chiswick team after injury, the players wanted to spend a while trying to sort things out. Hemel were having none of this, and from the off launched themselves into the contact areas with great enthusiasm, plus a degree of youthful extravaganza. The pitch was heavy, and a strong wind blew Chiswick forward in the first half.
With lineouts a bit of a lottery as a result, Chiswick, with two good jumpers in Sam Hood and Jon Joyce, lost out, and it soon became apparent that Hemel had an edge in the scrums, with their No.8 being able to break at will, despite Graham Robbings attentions.
The first score followed a Hemel heel against the head on the Chiswick 22 after about ten minutes. As the ball went along the line, prop Jan Joubert tackled the home centre well, but Chiswick were then penalised for preventing release. A quick tap and the home scrum half wriggled through for a try near the corner, which was well converted. First blood, and a huge fillip for Hemel confidence.
Chiswick had a chance to run the ball after a speculative kick upfield by the home fly half, but a lack of confidence was apparent as an attempted move went horribly wrong.
Hemel were guilty of diving over the top at times, and thereby frustrating Chiswick attacks, but they were eventually penalised with Chiswick in the home half. A lineout ensued from the Duffy kick, and although Hemel infringed again, a good advantage was played, and Simon Hallett cruised through the home defence for a try, converted by Keith Luckman. A long kick by Tom Duffy was run back in style by the home full back, supported by an ecstatic female chorus from the touchline, an excellent tackle by Sam Hood being needed to stop the attack and bring on the groans. John Gibson and Ben Cheston were fully employed on defensive duties at this stage, and Chiswick never really gained control for any length of time. Duffy did well to thwart a quick Hemel break, managing to tackle both the passer of the ball as well as the person passed to.
Chiswick were giving away too many penalties against a team with a good kicker, and eventually a kick was slotted from near the left touchline. Hemel immediately returned the compliment, and Duffy hit a good long one over to level the scores again. An excellent grab of a loose ball behind the home forwards gave Chiswick a chance to break, but Stuart Parmeter was in the line, and held on a fraction too long, and the move was stifled.
Chiswick nearly got a break at the start of the second half, but some slick handling in their own 22 led to Cheston speeding down the left wing. Unfortunately, he failed to find Duffy outside him with the pass. Hemel did a good job of keeping the play in the Chiswick half, and although the Chiswick tackling was good, the visitors did not get enough of the ball to relieve the pressure. The second home try came when their No.8 came into the line wide out and beat Gibson’s despairing dive tackle. The conversion was good, ( just ), and Hemel were jubilant. A couple of long wind-assisted kicks went over the Chiswick goal line, but desisted from crossing the dead ball line, to the visitors’ vexation. Cheston just failed to get an interception which would have been a certain try – things were not quite going Chiswick’s way. When Ben Kelly and Joyce set up a break, they found Parmeter on the wing again, and he was forced into touch. When a winger did get the ball, it was Adie Lewis, and his kick ahead just faded into touch, again with a try on offer.
The Chiswick threes did finally manage a concerted attack, but when the move broke down near the home 22, the Hemel full back ran it back apace, and the position was lost. Another Hemel kick just scraped inside the upright to give them a ten point lead. Scrum half sub Luca Vannini made a number of quick breaks, but the support was slow up, and opportunities were lost. Gibson also made a break, and this time the ball reached Cheston, who scored wide out. The kick, against the wind, was off target. The next try was the killer, as an attempted pass from Parmeter failed to reach Hansie Bezuidenhout in midfield, and the home winger latched on to the ball, and made the try look simple. The kick was another good one, and that was it, really, although a charged-up Gibson got up to take the restart kick, and sub Shane Donaldson had a rampage towards the line before the ref blew the final whistle.
January 17, 2011