Chiswick Have a Robshaw Moment
Rugby result :- Hammersmith & Fulham 17 Chiswick 15
With three minutes to go, and the score 12-17, Chiswick were awarded a penalty on the home 22 metre line. The choice, by England, to take the three points in similar circumstances had been widely criticised, but the dropped goal taken swiftly by Dave Hill could have worked for Chiswick, the breeze making ball-catching a little hazardous. Sadly for the visitors, however, the home team ran the clock down efficiently, thereby getting revenge for the 18-15 Middlesex Cup defeat.
Hammersmith started the match in style, catching the Chiswick defence cold with their first serious attack, starting from a scrum awarded for the first of many forward pass decisions by the referee. A missed tackle set up a two to one situation, and their left wing rocketed in for a try which was duly converted by their full-back. Chiswick came back strongly, and scored after a multi-phase move lasting 58 seconds. The move was finished off in style from way out by Tom Adams, on a beautifully judged diagonal run ending when he carried two tacklers over the line. Unfortunately Hill pulled the kick just left of the posts. Two minutes later and Chiswick were in front after a poor pass went astray in the home line. Simon Hallett kicked the loose ball ahead, and Hill got the next kick in. He was favourite to reach the ball first until he was brought down. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try, which Hill converted.
Marc Jones, ( well-known, no doubt, to the opposition ) was well marked by his opposing wing, but struggled through him eventually, only to be pulled down from behind as he gathered pace going for the corner. Chiswick had most of the possession, and the home fly-half got a yellow card. At this stage Chiswick rather lost their way with some hopeful kicks when keeping the ball in hand seemed a better tactic, and they failed to score against the fourteen. The home No.13 was presenting major problems for the Chiswick defence, and it needed a good tackle by Ady Lewis to keep their right wing out after another strong break by the outside centre. Rory Fletcher did exceptionally well at the ensuing scrum near the Chiswick line, and Russ Dovey and Hallett combined well as Chiswick broke upfield. Jones and Hill took the ball on and Chiswick were soon awarded a penalty. Hill elected to go for the corner, but the ball rolled agonisingly just the wrong side of the flag. Matt Pickering and James Dibble were making yards ( metres?) as Chiswick retained possession well, but the home defence remained strong.
When Hammersmith were restored to a full complement they attacked strongly down the right wing, and Sam Hood did well to disrupt a slow heel by the home pack near the Chiswick line.
Chiswick started the second half brightly, with Hill picking up a loose ball and starting a good attack, but then they contested one of the referee’s decisions, conceded ten metres and nearly three points. The play ebbed and flowed with many errors, more by Hammersmith than Chiswick, until Hill had another chance to take three points. This kick failed to curl in quite enough. Accidental offside was another of the referee’s favourite offences, with both teams suffering the dreaded whistle at intervals. The ubiquitous Riki Darroch tried a quick tapped penalty, but the move faltered following a slip as Chiswick got rather frantic in their moves.
Jon Gibson, who had as usual been trying very hard to get the back line going, had to go off following an ankle injury, after Pickering had exited with a hamstring problem, and the balance slowly swung in Hammersmith’s favour. It was a very convincing dropped goal by the home fly-half that put the home team back within two points of Chiswick. Lewis did make one scintillating break, but his clever back pass to Jones was well read by the opposition. With five minutes to go, Hammersmith managed a continuous attack, and despite good tackling from Jan Joubert et al they finally broke through after switching from side to side. The kick was good, and despite a fifty metre break by Jones, the dropped goal was the final score.
Chiswick :- Shattock, Dibble, Joubert, Pickering, Hood, Adams, Darroch, Fletcher, Dovey, Hill, Lewis, Hallett, Gibson, Jones, Vannini
Subs :- Morris, Marshall, Catliff
December 17, 2012