Rugby result: Chiswick 16 Fullerians 15
Promoted Fullerians arrived with an impressive warm-up routine, but were soon under pressure as the hungry home backs got into their stride. The visitors, nothing daunted, continued to open up, even in their 22. It was the ubiquitous Jon Gibson who made the first serious home attack with a determined run down the line after persuading Keith Luckman to switch to the blind side, but he was eventually bundled into touch. Tom Duffy then produced a magnificent, wind-assisted penalty kick to touch, and from the ensuing attack, Chiswick got a penalty, which Duffy slotted, to cheers from the sixty-odd spectators.
Fullerians had a couple of chances to level the score with penalty kicks, but they were poorly taken. Matt Pickering was getting some lineout ball, and Luca Vanini was already showing what a great scrum half he is, with immaculate passes and probing runs around the scrum, not to mention his terrorist tactics against the Fullerians’ scrum half. Matt Cooper was throwing his weight around, usually against the opponents, but once flooring one of the home locks. He did well to be unfazed by the backward tendencies of the Chiswick pack, and even better to rescue the ball from the opposing pack after they had snitched a five metre lineout throw. Adie Lewis, on the wing, eventually received a ball after half an hour, but it was from a Fullerians kick, and came with flying compliments ( or do I mean accompaniments ). Simon Hallett and Gibson strove hard to make a break down the middle against stubborn defence, but it was Gibson into the corner for the first try, after Sam Biss had set up a position near the try line. Duffy’s conversion kick failing.
Minutes into the second half, Hallett managed a line break, but the support was a little slow, and the chance vanished. The referee was playing extravagant advantages, leaving at least the spectators bemused, but Chiswick, having taken no advantage from a long passage of play in the Visitors’ 22, allowed Duffy to add another three points. Fullerians then played an even longer time before being pulled back for a penalty, and at this stage they decided to have scrums, a tactic which eventually paid dividends. Jon Joyce came on for Matt Pickering and Fullerians decided to try the mauling ploy. A yellow card reduced the home eight to seven, with fifteen minutes to go, encouraging the visitors to renewed efforts and gifting them three points.
A fortunate bounce aided the Chiswick kick-off, and with Vanini fast up, Chiswick applied the screw, with Matt Addison hurtling into the line to add some beef. Duffy just failed to reach the line, but then a dropped ball set Fullerians on the counter-attack, foiled only by a great tackle from Gibson. With the victim writhing on the ground, Vanini arrived in a flash and slipped the ball out to Ben Cheston, who zipped down the line to the corner before the opposition could blink.
Another yellow card levelled the man power situation, but the referee allowed almost ten minutes of extra time, during which Chiswick came under sustained pressure from the visitors. Two minutes into this period, they mauled over from a five metre lineout, the kick just failing. With a stated eighteen seconds on the referee’s watch, the Fullerians’ No.5 stretched just to the line for another score, and a super kick added the points. Phew!
Chiswick team : Addison ( Langdon ), Dibble, Joubert, M.Pickering, McCullan, Biss, Kelly, Cooper, Vanini, Luckman, Duffy, Hallett, Gibson, Lewis ( Hallewell ), Cheston
April 11, 2011