Rugby result: Grasshoppers 56 Chiswick 20
Despite having a depleted pack, it was the Chiswick back division that suffered most in the Indian summer sun. The speed, footwork and accurate passing of the home threequarters left the Chiswick team floundering on occasions, and when they got the ball, which was reasonably regularly, they could find no gaps in the centre of the home defence.
Early on, it was only the last roll of the ball, taking it over the dead ball line, which saved Chiswick, with the following up Grasshoppers’ man within a few inches of it. Then a desperate shirt-tugging tackle by Luca Vannini swung a sprinting Grasshoppers’ forward off his feet very close to the posts.
Two early penalties took Grasshoppers into the lead, and although Tom Duffy then had a near miss, the first of a stream of tries soon followed. Jon Joyce, Luca Vannini, Jan Joubert and Matt Cooper had been in the thick of it from the off, and captain Rowan Tonkin did well to rescue a lost lineout ball, but it was the home team pulling out all the stops, and after their No.8 had wriggled out of Cooper’s grasp at a scrum given for a skewed throw-in, the ball went along the line to the home full back, who drew the last tackle, and fed a very speedy winger, who made it to the right corner. Simple and effective, and twenty minutes gone.
Chiswick then produced a sustained attack through Adie Lewis, Ben Kelly and Cooper, taken on by John Gibson and Tom Adams. Vannini and Duffy then got the ball to Matt Addison, who was pulled up short of the line. The ball passed through another dozen pairs of Chiswick hands, and there were two thwarted dives for the line, but the home defence held out.
The second home try followed soon after, their outside centre hurdling an attempted low tackle by Joyce, and swerving past the cover defence to go over the line. The kick missed. Lewis made a great catch of the kick-off, but Chiswick could not retain the ball. It was the home inside centre who embarrassed Chiswick next, bouncing a would-be tackler out of the way as he headed for the posts. 23-0, half-time and Chiswick heads were down.
Chiswick thought they had scored in the corner soon after the kick-off, but their was a foot in touch, and almost immediately, after a break by the home fly half, their left winger scorched into the line for another try, duly converted. Chiswick were then reduced to fourteen by a yellow card. Lewis made an interception and a break, but the support was too slow, and the opportunity lost. The next embarrassment was when Vannini passed the ball just behind Hallett, running the ball out of defence, and the home outside centre kicked it through and got the touch down. Worse followed, as a break from the home 22 finished with a three on one overlap, and the home players discussing who was to be given the touchdown.
After the conversion of this try, Chiswick finally got angry with themselves, and Lewis got over in the right corner after a quick tap by Vannini and a series of short passes. Nothing daunted, Grasshoppers continued to play with gay abandon, and their full back, breaking down the touchline found their blindside flanker with a great inside pass. 49-5 after the conversion. Subs Rory Fletcher and Sam Biss tried hard, and Chiswick shaded the final minutes. Hallett got a try after a bullocking run by Joubert, the attempted dropped conversion failing. Another full back/winger combination completed the scoring for the home team, but Chiswick got two tries back, one for the hard-working Joubert, and the last for Kelly.
Chiswick team :- Tonkin, Joubert, Addison, Adams, Joyce, Robbings ( Biss ), Kelly, Cooper ( Fletcher ), Vannini, Duffy ( Luckman ), Lowe, Hallett, Gibson, Lewis, Cheston
October 3, 2011