Medics Finally Put to Bed
Rugby Result : Imperial Medics 15 Chiswick 39
Chiswick made hard work of this win, frustrated that the home team managed to retain possession of the ball for long periods despite the visitors’ domination in the set pieces.
Medics failed to deal legally with the initial kick-off, to give the visitors a flying start as Keith Luckman slotted a good penalty kick. At the first home lineout, the ball went through to (a surprised?) Tom Adams at the tail, and taken with a retreating home scrum, the auguries initially appeared grim for the Medics. A good run and cross-kick by Ben Cheston seemed to have produced a try by the speeding Chiswick winger Matt Small, but his dive failed to be given ten points when it became apparent that it had finished over the dead ball line.
Luckman, kicking boots aglow, soon added another three points, and then Small put Ben Kelly away with a neat inside pass for the first try, the kick fading just right of the posts. As Medics began to come into the game, it was apparent that Rory Fletcher, Simon Hallett, Josh Nobel and Kelly amongst others were having to do a lot of tackling, an area where Chiswick have improved greatly over previous seasons.
Chiswick wasted possession a couple of times with high kicks, and choosing the home winger as a target proved dangerous as he skated back and through the tackles (not usually Hallett’s). Small saved the occasion several times with crucial tackles as Chiswick began to worry. After a couple of warnings to other players, it was the hooker Sam Biss who was the unlucky recipient of a yellow card. Medics were thereby granted a temporary relief and three points from the resultant penalty. Chiswick proceeded to ring some interesting changes in the front row, culminating in Rowan Tonkin jammed in the middle. A home resurgence followed, and Fletcher did great covering work after a clean break in midfield by the home team.
Chiswick soon got on top in the second half, and after Luca Vannini had taken a quick tapped penalty, nearly getting over the line himself, Kelly tried and just failed, and then the brilliant Sam Hood showed the way, plucking a dodgy pass off his toes and diving through two tackles whilst retaining possession of the ball. Luckman nailed the kick from eight metres in from the right touch. A period of home pressure was curtailed by Fletcher, who stole the ball and put John Gibson away. He did well to slip the ball to Nobel when tackled, and the home players, conscious perhaps that they were lacking subs, just watched him cover the fifty metres to the line. Straight from the kickoff, taken by Hood, Jon Joyce put Gibson away, and it was Nobel again who went over to score. Luckman added the six points and Chiswick appeared home and dry.
The Medics thought otherwise, and with a couple of injuries to Chiswick players, plus another yellow card, the home team had a few chances. They showed enterprise, running the ball from a mark in their own 22, and then their right winger scored a deserved, but unconverted try after Chiswick ran out of tacklers. The same player then ran in another try from way out, and converted it to make the score more respectable. Chiswick had the last word though, when Joyce picked up at he base of the scrum, looked right, and the then cut through to score from ten metres out. Luckman brought his tally to fourteen points, and Steff Davies finished the match on the pitch.
Chiswick team :- Tonkin, Biss, Davies, Hood, McCullan ( Joyce ), Adams, Kelly, Fletcher ( Donaldson ), Vannini, Luckman, Lewis, Hallett ( Gibson ), Nobel, Small, Cheston
January 9, 2012