Rugby result: Chiswick 27 Imperial Medics 22
Chiswick looked to put last week’s abject performance behind them as unbeaten second-placed Imperial Medics visited Riverside Lands in this league match.
The home side picked up from where they left off last week, Matt Cooper knocking on the kick-off, and only superb defence by evergreen Graham Robbings kept the Medics out. The away side continued to attack in the first ten minutes but the Robbings influence began to rub off on his fellow back row men, and Ben Kelly and Cooper both put in solid hits.
With Tom Duffy at fly half, Chiswick adopted a smart kicking game to get upfield. A particularly probing kick forced an error from the Medics winger, and a blindside attack was initiated, Vannini finding Cooper up in support. Robbings took the ball on, and fed James Dibble, who was pulled up inches short.
Chiswick maintained the pressure, and on 17 minutes a pass from Luca Vannini direct to Simon Hallett gave him space for a mazy run past three defenders and finishing under the posts. Duffy converted, but then Chiswick, typically, relaxed too much, and within a minute the luckless Matt Pickering managed to find a Medic with a hospital pass, the grateful doctor sprinting in at the corner for an unconverted try.
Chiswick huffed back, and with Jon Gibson and Adie Lewis punching holes, complemented by strong support from Jon Joyce, Jan Joubert and Rowan Tonkin, they gained a penalty on the halfway line which Duffy coolly slotted. Dibble retired injured, and a focussed Matt Addison came on at prop, Joubert switching to hooker. The Chiswick pack got on a forward drive to win a ball against the head, but then a lapse in concentration allowed the Medics winger to score in the corner to level the score at half time.
Pete Townsend and Gabs Lowe provided last ditch defence as Medics came out strongly, and Hansie Bezuidenhout made a welcome return, replacing Cooper. Unfortunately he only lasted 16 minutes before picking up another injury, after being forced illegally out of a maul, and during this time Medics exposed some poor tackling to score their third try, which was converted. With twelve minutes remaining Duffy kicked the penalty resulting from the maul offence. All appeared lost when the Medics winger stripped the ball from his opposite number and ran a long way for a fourth try. The conversion failed however, and after a great rampaging run by Chiswick skipper, Tonkin, Hallett waltzed through the Medics defence and went under the posts for Duffy to add the points. Jon Gibson created the winning try, picking up a loose ball on the half way line, and dancing through four defenders before sending Hallett away for his hat-trick. Duffy converted, and Chiswick held out for the remaining three minutes.
Chiswick team:- Tonkin, Dibble ( Addison ), Joubert, Joyce, Pickering, Robbings, Kelly, Cooper ( Bezuidenhout ), Vannini, Duffy, Lowe, Hallett, Gibson, Townsend ( Brooks ), Lewis
September 27, 2011