Last Minute Winner- Rugby Result
Hammersmith 22 Chiswick 26
Forty three seconds after dropping the starting kick, Chiswick were five points down. With a minute to go, they were one point down, but then Sam Leslie-Miller finished off a last gasp move with a try in the left corner to give them the victory they craved, in this west London derby, over a determined Hammersmith fifteen who gave everything, and probably feel they should have won.
After their initial rush to the line, Hammersmith were forced back by their nettled opponents, with Leslie-Miller going close after Simon Hallett and new boy Reggie Regan had tested the home central defence. Following a lineout in the home 22, Chiswick got very close to the line with the first of many useful mauls, before the ball was knocked forward over the line. Maintaining the pressure, Chiswick scored after ten minutes, Luca Vannini’s quick tapped penalty on the half way line being taken on by Regan, breaking the first line of defence, and then by Hallett, who scythed right and left before going under the posts. His conversion gave Chiswick the lead.
Five minutes later, after a sustained attack, Hammersmith nosed ahead again when their hooker came into the back line and neatly bisected a couple of Chiswick defenders. This try was converted. The attacks continued unrelentingly, with both fly halves putting in good long kicks and both full backs catching well and running the ball back with great determination. Hammersmith went further ahead with a penalty kick. Chiswick then gained a five metre lineout, and with Matt Pickering imperious at the front, they looked certain to score. In the event it needed an amazing recovery of the ball by James Dibble as the maul collapsed, and vigorous thrusts for the line by Hallett and Jan Joubert before Leslie-Miller spotted a gap in the corner and surged over and round to make the kick easier. Hallett obliged. One point in it.
It was a counter-attack by Gabs Lowe and Leslie-Miller that set up the next try. Regan floated the ball out to Henry Streatfield on the right, and with space to exploit the electric winger rode a couple of tackles to score in the corner. Hallett’s kick from the touchline was perfection, and Chiswick were six points clear. Chiswick’s pack was getting on top in the scrums, and now wheeled the home pack to achieve a put-in on the home 22. The blind-side thrust that followed was unsuccessful, and the half finished with very scrappy play by both sides, although Ray Brooks came close to scoring in the left corner.
The Chiswick lineout was not functioning as well as in the previous week, with several instances of the ball going over the Chiswick catchers and being retrieved by the home side at the tail of the line. Hammersmith were doing a bit better in the scrums and after a good period of pressure, they created an overlap on the left wing, and scored in the corner. A splendid kick by their left-footed kicker gave them the lead again. Chiswick, with replacements on for three injured players, only one likely to return to the arena, and half an hour to go, began to look vulnerable for the first time. The team closed ranks, however, and with Leslie-Miller, Vannini, Riki Darroch and Hallett always close to the action, Chiswick slowly recovered their poise, but only after a last ditch tackle by Riki Darroch recovered a position where the home team had been given far too much room to attack.
Rory McLaughlin combined well with Darroch to stop a threatening run by the home full back. Chiswick got a penalty about five metres into the home half, in front of the posts, but Hallett’s kick agonisingly hit the middle of the crossbar, to be cleared by a grateful defence. Hallett and Adie Lewis set up a couple of runs down the left wing, but couldn’t quite set up a scoring chance against the obdurate home defence. The Chiswick pack were still knocking holes in the home defence, but making little progress when they got close to the line. With five minutes to go a desperate attack by the Chiswick pack foundered on this defence, and then the ball was lost in mid-field.
The final attack was started by Lowe, risking a solo run from his own 22 after fielding a long kick. The ball was worked up to the Hammersmith 22, where Pickering got in the line, and with Regan and Brooks carrying on the move, the man on the outside was the ubiquitous Leslie-Miller, who didn’t drop the ball, but touched it down gently on the Hurlingham turf. It mattered not that the kick failed.
Chiswick team :- Shattock, Dibble, Joubert, Hood, Pickering, Adams, Darroch, Leslie-Miller, Vannini, Hallett, Lewis, Regan, Brooks, Streatfield, Lowe. Subs:- Tonkin, Joyce, McLaughlin
September 25, 2013