Chiswick Ride The Storm

Rugby result : London Nigerians 10 Chiswick 28

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At times in this match the home backs took the Chiswick defence to the limit, but Nigerians made too many mistakes, with forward and dropped passes ruining some superb positions. Chiswick were by no means faultless, but eventually coped with the situation better, and were ultimately well worth their win.

With their back division restored to full strength, Chiswick looked menacing from the beginning, coping well with the wind in their faces. The scrums were no problem, but the lineouts were another matter, and the home teams’ confidence grew with increased possession from this area of the game.

Suddenly the Nigerians were attacking , with three players chasing a neat kick over wing Adie Lewis’s head. As cool as a cucumber, Lewis plucked it out of the air, beat two players on the turn, and the third with a quick burst infield. Unfortunately he then straightened his line, where a ball out to the right might have opened up the home defence, but maybe that’s being a little unfair. Nigerians came back with a long kick, but it was one of several they tried which just kept rolling with the wind and went dead, for a scrum back to the grateful visitors.

New lad Jason McDonald at No.6 then did a good job of covering his captain, John Gibson, when he made a rare hash of a tackle, as Nigerians put on the pressure. Chiswick hands in the ruck gave the home team an easy three points as the pressure paid off. This was followed by a sparkling Chiswick back move which went adrift following a rare error by Mark Jones, who let the final pass slip straight through his hands. A home knock-on with two players clean through was the next embarrassment. Tom Duffy’s line-kicking was good as Chiswick strove to keep the play out of their 22, and a rare excursion upfield led to a try, as Chiswick ran a penalty for handling in the ruck, and Gibson found Lewis Hammond outside him and unmarked. Under the posts and a simple kick for Duffy.

A yellow card gave Chiswick a man advantage, but they were lucky when the referee came down on their side in a dispute over the success of a home penalty kick. Adie Lewis unfortunately found a Nigerian player at the end of a long passage of Chiswick three-quarter play, but they went further ahead with another penalty. Nigerians came back with spirit, and after turning the ball over in midfield they put together a long sustained passage of play, ending with a try under the posts for their centre as the Chiswick defence finally ran out of tacklers. The inevitable conversion followed, and half time arrived with no further score.

Chiswick used the wind well after the break, and after surviving an initial home onslaught, they began to look more confident. Ben Cheston was having a day where opponents were just grasping his shirt tails as he accelerated through gaps, and gaps there certainly were, but they closed quickly. Nigerians nearly scored but the ball was lost forward at the last despairing Chiswick tackle. Marco Chraplewczyk, having a rare outing in the front row, where he was in the thick of things as the packs scrapped noisily throughout the match, had to go off with a calf injury. Scrum half John Feltham did well to nick the ball behind the home scrum as Chiswick pushed into Nigerians 22, and with Adie Lewis and Al Pickering taking the ball on, Chiswick won a penalty, and Duffy put them in front with a decent kick.

Feltham’s shoulder then packed up, and Keith Luckman came on at scrum half. With Graham Robbings also on, Chiswick increased the pressure. Alex Matulick had a gallop down the line and was prominent in the tackling stakes, and after a ( rare ) clean lineout take, the Chiswick forwards mauled into the home 22. Stuart Parmeter emerged from the pack and swerved and dummied his way down the line into the corner. Duffy made a good but unsuccessful attempt at the conversion, but Chiswick now had the bit between the teeth, and with Al Pickering and Parmeter on the rampage anything looked possible. A good strike against the head, and Chiswick had a great chance to go further ahead, which they missed.

A neat grubber kick by Duffy caused havoc in the home defence, and Cheston had a half chance with a loose ball, but the home wing came away with the ball as Cheston was stopped. Said wing then had a close encounter with the avenging angel in the shape of Al Pickering, who put in the grand-daddy of all tackles, knocking the wing metres back and sending the ball into space whence it fell into a convenient spot for Mark Jones, coming in from the opposite wing to pick up and cruise over for a simple try under the posts. Indecent celebrations followed, as Duffy slotted the kick.

The stuffing had been knocked out of the home team, and Duffy completed the scoring with another simple kick. Coach Andy Barrington was a happy man.

Chiswick team :- Donaldson, Parmeter, Chraplewczyk (Matulick), Pickering M, Tonkin, McDonald (Robbings), Adams, Pickering A, Feltham (Luckman), Duffy, Lewis, Gibson, Cheston, Jones, Hammond

October 12, 2009