Chiswick Close to First Win
Chiswick 30 UCS Old Boys 31
In an eventful encounter at Riverside Lands, Chiswick, tackling and handling well, came close to picking up their first win of the season, but grim defending by UCS at the end gave them a deserved victory. Captain Luca Vannini played himself to a standstill as Chiswick tried hard throughout a close game which was punctuated at intervals by yellow cards and discussions about the new (?) substitution rules.
Both teams played running rugby from the start, and Ady Lewis nearly got an interception when UCS attacked with an overlap. In fact Chiswick were under some pressure from the start, and losing flanker Rory Fletcher to a hand injury certainly didn’t help. No surprise then that UCS picked up the first three points after ten minutes play, but in the incident leading up to this score the yellow card, awarded when a Chiswick prop stopped a certain try from a tapped penalty which appeared to be taken much closer to the try line than was justified, seemed harsh.
Chiswick came back strongly, with Dave Hill just missing with a long kick before slotting a slightly easier chance. Steffan Davies had to come on for the next scrum, with Hansie Bez, who had already put in some typical surging runs, taking a time out. The Chiswick pack put in a good maul, and with Jon Joyce keen to have the ball all the time were looking good. The first sub hiccup occurred after the ten minute yellow, the referee refusing to allow the subbed prop to return. No real problem, but flummoxing. Ben Catliff came very close to scoring in the left corner after a weaving run by the effervescent Simon Hallett, but then Chiswick went ahead, Hill fielding an attempted touch kick and running straight down the left wing, leaving the inside dart till the very last moment to score a scintillating try. The kick was just too difficult, unfortunately.
Catliff had another go for the corner, but was injured by the tackle which put him in touch feet short of the line. UCS then got a rather lucky, if well-worked try against the run of play, Hill getting a hand to the ball going for the interception, only for it to deflect straight into the hands of the waiting UCS attacker. The kick was good.
Chiswick went ahead in the second half with another penalty, but then had a disastrous period after Hill was yellow-carded for what again appeared to be a minor and atypical offence. The ball was immediately moved right across the pitch, and the Chiswick sub wing failed to cope with an almost impossible overlap situation. The kick was good again rom the excellent UCS kicker. Minutes later the UCS left wing outpaced the home defence to score in the other corner -conversion again no problem. Chiswick were reeling as UCS threw everything at them, and with the rub of the green going UCS’s way, their chubby No. 8 set up another try in the right corner, again converted.
With Hill restored, Chiswick slowly hauled themselves back up, helped by the sin-binning of the UCS No. 5 and then of their hooker. Bez was the first to benefit; with two less tacklers to slow him down he made it comfortably to the line, Hill converting. The home crowd came alight, and with James Dibble, Tom Adams, Vannini, Hallett, Luckman et. al. working their socks off, Chiswick stepped up the pressure. Finally a sizzling move, started with a clean take by Joyce in the lineout, and involving sub Russ Dovey twice, together with at least six other players, produced a great try for Sam Hood. Hill’s kick failed, crucially as it turned out, since although Hood got a second, converted, try minutes later, time ran out on the home team.
Chiswick team :- Shattock, Dibble, Joubert (Davies), Hood, Joyce, Leslie-Miller, Fletcher,
(Adams), Bez, Vannini, Luckman, Catliff (Dovey), Gibson, Hallett, Lewis, Hill
October 12, 2012