A Moment Of Brilliance Amid Some Pretty Scrappy Rugby

Rugby result - Chiswick 24 West London 5

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A frenetic start by the home team, and Gabriel Lowe at scrum half put in a neat chip for the rampaging pack. Graham Robbings was pulled down on the edge of the opponents’ 22, and a quick blindside move with Keith Luckman showing he had a useful hand-off, led to Ben Sullivan streaking in to the left corner for a third minute try. Luckman’s kick was perfect, and Chiswick were off.

A neat grubber kick by full-back Dave Hill set up a good position for the home team, but a refereeing decision that Chiswick were holding on just under the posts reprieved West London, and led to a yellow card for a protesting Chiswickian.

West London had a good period, but when they tried to open out in the home 22, Marc Jones made a clever interception and raced down the pitch with Simon Hallett in support. The West London backs did very well to get back and bundle Hallett into touch near their 22.

Sam Hood nicked the West London throw, however, and John Gibson surged through the centre of the visitors’ defence. In scintillating style the ball was moved left towards the corner flag before being whipped back to the open side for Jones to draw two defenders before popping the ball out for Gibson to score. Luckman’s kick was pulled left.

West London were trying too hard to get back into the game, and making a series of errors, but it was slick rugby that led to the next home score, starting with an immaculate throw-in by Glen Tucker to Hood, and a mid-field surge through the defence by Hallett. He cut back, hurdling one tackle, before straightening, the ball going via Ben Kelly, Gibson and Lowe to Jones, who touched down in the left corner. Luckman understandably failed to add the points.

After the cracking first half, the second was a disappointment, the play becoming scrappy as West London applied a lot of pressure through their large pack, but kept on falling foul of the referee as they got close to the home line. Chiswick’s defence was severely tested, but held up well, although finding both the West London hooker and their open-side flanker difficult to bring down. West London appeared to have scored in the left corner, but the linesman had signalled a foot in touch. The visitors’ fly half missed a fairly simple penalty kick.

Twenty minutes gone, and a simple passing movement towards the right corner allowed the West London outside centre to run at and through the home defence. Brought down by the cover defence just short of the line he managed to reach over and touch down ( just ). The kick was poor, but West London saw a glimmer of light. With Ollie Hire on for Hansie Bezuidenhout, Chiswick struggled for a few minutes, but then seemed to recover their confidence. Robbings got a good boot in at a lineout, and he and Hallett took the ball well down-field; later, Matt Cooper managed to steam through the defence from another lineout as cracks appeared in the defences.

A bizarre incident followed. The Chiswick wing rushed up to tackle the West London hooker, who had done well to retrieve a kick when back in defence. As the hooker struggled to get up he hurt an ankle, cried out, and the wing was yellow-carded. Almost immediately, another tackle, by a West London player, was deemed a spear tackle, and the player was red-carded. This all in a match played throughout in a good spirit.

The final period had one moment of brilliance, amidst uncontested scrums and some pretty scrappy rugby. Hallett, standing in a fly half, did a chip-kick from the right hand side towards the left corner. Jones and Kelly set off like sprinters from the gun, and when Kelly got the ball he gave Sullivan a scoring pass. Luckman converted, and the bonus point was secured. Everyone now waited for the final whistle, but it did not arrive until an amazing fifty eight minutes after the kick-off. In mitigation, there were a number of stoppages, mainly for the home team.

Chiswick team :- Davies ( Donaldson ), Tucker, Parmeter, Hood, Bezuidenhout ( Hire ), Robbings, Kelly, Cooper, Lowe, Luckman, Sullivan, Gibson, Hallett, Jones, Hill ( Brooks )

October 25, 2010