Chiswick Put To The Sword In Middlesex Cup Semi-Final
Rugby result - Chiswick 13 Civil Service 49
In the first half, with a good breeze slightly in their favour, the home team, the Middlesex Cup holders, played some neat rugby against the Civil Service Stags, and just about deserved their half-time 8-7 lead. The second half was a different story.
Early mauls suggested that both teams could make good ground with this tactic, but with Sam Leslie-Miller and Sam Hood operating well in the lineouts, and the former providing scrum half Gabs Lowe with a good service from the scrums, Chiswick had a shade more possession early on, and attacked their illustrious opponents with alacrity. An unlucky accidental offside decision ruined an excellent Chiswick move from a lineout on the Stags’ 22. After ten minutes, in trying to cope with a loose ball near his try-line, the Stags’ full-back incurred the referee’s wrath and a yellow card. Chiswick piled on the pressure, but after a minute or two near the visitors’ line they decided to take the three points on offer, Simon Hallett slotting the easy kick.
The best Chiswick move of the game followed, with good runs by Rikki Darroch and Leslie-Miller, the latter finding Hood up in support. The Maestro galloped untouched down the middle of the park before putting in a delicate kick with the outside of the right boot towards the right corner flag. The Stags had several defenders back, but Hood’s remote control worked well as the ball evaded them all and came to rest in the hands of wing George Dimitriadis, who touched down to tumultuous applause, spliced with laughter. No conversion followed. Hallett had one more chance to add to the home total before half-time, but his penalty kick faded right of the posts.
Five minutes into the second half Chiswick did well to turnover the ball after a Stags’ five metre lineout, and Tom Steer had a good run up the right touch-line. Confusingly, however, the referee signalled play on when the move broke down, and a Stags’ player in space on the other touch-line found himself with only Dimitriadis to beat. He finished up in touch. After ten minutes it was really all about the Stags’ relative strength and physicality, which Chiswick could not match, although Leslie-Miller and Darroch in particular put in huge numbers of tackles. The effort to contain the visitors’ attack took its toll and gaps began appearing, exploited by the Stags, with vital quick support for any runner held up temporarily.
With substitutions starting fairly early in the heat, Chiswick’s organisation deteriorated, and Stags’ tries came at regular intervals, the first from their full-back as Chiswick ran out of defenders in the back line. Another excellent conversion followed. A long phase of Stags’ possession then led to a try in the left corner by their No.8, again converted. Chiswick still had enough energy to come back after this, James Edgson breaking the Stags’ line and heading for the posts. He was pulled up just short, but substitute Tom Dean was on hand to put Lowe in for a try in the left corner. The kick failed.
Chiswick kept working hard for the last twenty five minutes, but the Stags scored further tries, all converted, through their No.8, their full-back, their No.16, chased all the way to the line by sub Rory McLaughlin, and their right wing.
Chiswick team:- Tonkin, Dibble, Delabaki, Hood, Plasse, Edgson, Darroch, Leslie-Miller, Lowe, Hallett, Dimitriadis, Regan, Godfrey, Steer, Grindle. Subs:- Nichols, Reed, Dean, Hill, McLaughlin, Streatfield
March 17, 2014