Chiswick Secure Vital Points Against Side Second in the League

Rugby Result : Chiswick 15 Havant 7


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This crucial game between a home team struggling for survival and visitors apparently not quite sure whether they really wanted to be in a play-off for promotion was crammed full of mistakes right from the beginning, with knock-ons and poor lineout throws in ample evidence. Nonetheless this was a tremendous performance by Chiswick, still smarting from their last ditch defeat at Tottonians, and desperately needing a win against the side second in the league.

From the beginning the referee appeared to let a few things go, and Chiswick nearly benefitted when an apparent loss of ball forward was not penalised. The home team came close to scoring in the left corner in a move started by Marko Chraplewczyk neatly flicking an overthrown ball back at the tail of a lineout. Havant pressed for a couple of minutes but then mistakenly tried a kick for their quick right wing. Dan Sutherland got their first, however, and counter-attacked strongly, with support from Jon Joyce and Sam Leslie-Miller. Dan Godfrey and James Bunbury were then involved before Tom Steer got tackled into touch just short of the try-line.

Good Chiswick pressure followed with possession retained through a number of phases, but indecision about when to pass led to a penalty for crossing. The home team pressed on and got a penalty for offside. As happens too often, the kick to touch was followed by a wayward throw-in, and possession was lost. Not for long, as Chiswick somehow recovered the ball in midfield. Bunbury was held up, but the forwards took over, with Heath McDonough ploughing into the fray before Simon Hallett puts Godfrey away. An inside pass to Bunbury gave him room to accelerate, and the ball was passed around, with Godfrey getting the touchdown in the left corner. Hallett’s kick was not quite good enough, but Chiswick were on their way.

Havant responded fiercely, with some excellent delayed short passes, and Russ Dovey did well to clear a spilt ball, dummying nervelessly just in front of the goal-line. Within five minutes, however, the visitors were in front, with their hooker finding a good diagonal line to the posts after a sustained attack. There was no further score before half time.

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Havant started strongly after the break, but the home pack were very determined, and achieved a turnover by holding up a tackled Havant player. Some scrappy play followed, with frequent stops to allow treatment for what appeared to be mainly head knocks. After fifteen minutes, Chiswick won a penalty, and Hallett’s kick just cleared the head of an onrushing Havant player on its way over the bar. Phew! Chiswick were in front.

After mucking up the kick-off Chiswick got a turnover, and then lost the ball, and so it continued. Subs were exchanged with little change. Gabs Lowe made a good break out of defence, and then Joyce showed his paces. Havant were running up against a wall now, with James Dibble leading the defence with some great tackling, matched by that of Hallett, Leslie-Miller, Godfrey etc,etc, as Chiswick refused to concede. Chiswick had one good attack to get close, but Havant’s counter-attack nearly proved fatal for the home team, with the wing sprinting down the right side of the field. That man Sutherland, however, watched him like a hawk, and floored him. Filbey came on, and immediately found himself taking an errant lineout ball.

With more and more nervous errors, it was Chiswick sustaining moves a bit longer than Havant, and eventually their backs created an overlap, with Rikki Darroch coming in to the line and cruising over for the crucial score. Hallett’s boot brought home bliss, and Havant never got really close to responding, although they almost profited late on from a Chiswick chip down the line which went straight into their wing’s hands. Chiswick in turn were very close twice, the second time with Sutherland just having a foot on the touch-line before touching down.

Chiswick team:- Chraplewczyk, Dibble, McDonough, Hobbins, Allen-Clarke, Joyce, Darroch, Leslie-Miller, Dovey, Hallett, Steer, Godfrey, Bunbury, Sutherland, Lowe; Filbey, Biss, Grindle

March 13, 2017

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