Chiswick Underline Supremacy

Rugby Result - Old Merchant Taylors 3 Chiswick 30

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Second placed Merchant Taylors strove to reverse their earlier defeat at the hands of league leaders Chiswick, but finished a well-beaten team as the visitors, on their thirteenth consecutive victory, proved again that they should be playing at a higher level.

On a large pitch, and with a cross-wind, Chiswick did take a while to shake off the Christmas cobwebs, with moves regularly going astray as their forwards provided plenty of possession for the talented back division. The normally totally reliable full back Lewis Hammond was the first to show rust, with an attempted pass out in a promising position going all along the ground. Hooker Jan Joubert, however, looked really hungry for the ball and drove the pack forwards.

With both scrums and lineouts working well, Chiswick were well in control, but found it difficult to penetrate the blanket home defence. Chiswick’s No.8 Hansie Bez did well to be back supporting Hammond in defence, and from the resulting ruck, Alistair Pickering emerged with the ball, and rampaged a few yards before slipping it to Joubert. The hooker moved quickly downfield, turning here and there, but could find no close support, his hopeful pass back going straight to an O.M.T player.

Joubert did eventually get over the line after a scrum five, but the ball was adjudged held up. At a home scrum in their 22 the O.M.T pack was pushed back and as their No.8 tried to come away from the scrum, he was hit hard by Brynley Price, playing at No.6 for Chiswick this week. Keith Luckman got the ball, dummied, and put Aram Delaney away. Delaney had to get past the massive O.M.T lock, but made it seem easy before grounding the ball in the left corner. 25 minutes gone. The conversion attempt failed. Merchant Taylors came back with a penalty for hands in the ruck. Chiswick scrum half Nico Fryer did well to grab a loose ball as the Chiswick pressure caused problems for the defending home team, but the ensuing move was spoiled by a knock-on, so that at half-time there were only two points in it.

Chiswick decided to take an easy three points when O.M.T failed to release the ball in their 22 as the second half got under way, Luckman stroking the ball over from close range. The best move of the match followed, after Chiswick had almost cocked up retrieving the ball from the kick-off. Bez decided it was time to have a run. John Gibson and Ben Cheston continued the move and found Luckman overlapping on the right, a move much to the coach’s liking. Luckman fed skipper Marc Jones on the wing, who in turn put Boyband Cheston in for a scintillating and well-deserved try. The wind proved too much for the kicker.

Jones got the next, crucial try, after a long kick downfield by Luckman bounced unkindly for the defender. Jones’s pick-up and footwork were both exemplary, showing why he is the club’s top scorer.

The kick, from the touchline, was again too difficult for Luckman. Moments later, Chiswick went further ahead, scrummaging with seven in the pack near the home line, and moving Bez to fly half. The storming No.8 cut back through the cover defence, on receiving the ball, to score behind the home pack. Luckman slotted this one. Just about time for another try, suggested the supporters, and Captain Jones duly obliged, as the subs, Chris Jones, Kelvin Campbell and Chris Hallewell all strived to make their mark. The scoring move started with a good advantage played by the referee. Campbell shovelled the ball out from the back of an untidy heap of players, and Bez continued the move. Pickering and Luckman were involved, and then Gibson and Cheston, before Jones hammered down the touchline, just making it to the goal line before being dragged down by the despairing O.M.T outside centre. The kick was well short.

Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Joubert, Davies ( Campbell ), Hood, Delaney ( Jones ), Price, Pickering, Bezuidenhout, Fryer, Luckman, Lewis ( Hallewell ), Gibson, Cheston, Jones, Hammond

January 7, 2008