Chiswick Purr To Opening Victory

Rugby result: UCS Old Boys 3 Chiswick 36

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The silky smooth machine applying a stream of integrated attacks from the outset, when UCS put the kick-off straight into touch, was hardly recognisable as the Chiswick of old, who often gifted the opposition a few early points before waking up.

Three early penalties were calmly slotted by Keith Luckman as UCS fought to stem the tide, and the Chiswick determination to attack was apparent in, e.g., the efforts of Stefan Davies to get both heels off the ground to catch a kick-off. Graham Robbings, later deservedly selected as man of the match, was in the fore-front before presenting the Physio with a logistical problem in taping up one of the few remaining untaped fingers. He then dashed back into the fray like a teenager.

Chris Morris set up one attack with an immaculate pass off the ground to Luckman, leading to Marc Jones just failing to burst through the middle of the home defence. On a rare UCS counter-attack, scrum-half Neil Gill had to stop the substantial home prop after he had knocked two Chiswick players down whilst rampaging down the blind side – no problem. It was difficult to fault any Chiswick player – Sam Hood made a brilliant take in front of the home jumper at a UCS lineout, and Rowan Tonkin and Matt Cooper were solid at the front of the lineout, although the longer Chiswick throw-ins were more of a lottery.

It was all too easy, but that was rectified after twenty-five minutes, when Chiswick were reduced to fourteen following purportedly dangerous use of a boot in a ruck ( automatic red card ). An immediate home attack, including a neat chip over the Chiswick back line gave full back Ben Cheston a chance to show his immense talent, which he did, allowing Luckman to clear the ball up the line, with Jones in chase. UCS tried to run the ball back, but Jones was having none of that and took the attempted home pass as clean as a whistle to stroll over the home line. Luckman couldn’t miss.

The first home attack of the second half was a disaster for them, as a telegraphed long pass on the Chiswick 22 was anticipated by Simon Hallett who didn’t need any support to score under the posts. The wind took the kick a little left of centre – this was the closest Luckman came to missing all afternoon. A couple of minutes later, after UCS had notched up three points with an easy penalty kick, a juggling Hood take went to Luckman, whose inside pass to John Gibson was perfection. Gibson showed good pace before another inside pass put Hallett through for his second try. Another seven points, but the fourth try, for the bonus point, eluded Chiswick, as UCS applied more pressure against the depleted Chiswick team.

Two more penalties were converted as Chiswick made the occasional counter-attack, but then a sin-binning reduced Chiswick to a bedrock thirteen, and just as they were restored to fourteen, another yellow card was produced. UCS failed to profit from this profligacy, in no small measure due to the determination of the visitors, whose efforts were exemplary.

Chiswick team :- Davies ( Joubert ), Parmeter, Drayson, Hood, Tonkin, Robbings, Morris, Cooper, Gill ( Hitchmaugh ), Luckman, Lewis, Gibson, Hallett, Jones, Cheston

September 13, 2010