Chiswick Lose The Plot

Rugby result - Chiswick 13 Hampstead 24

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A combination of complacency and apparent lethargy, (too many pre-Christmas mince pies?) served Chiswick ill against an enthusiastic and energetic Hampstead team, whose play belied their league position. Both teams started brightly enough ( Hampstead having transferred the fixture from their boggy patch on the Heath ), and Chiswick were quickly three points to the good, courtesy of the right boot of Keith Luckman.

Initially the home team appeared comfortable, with Rowan Tonkin solid under the kicks, and the mauling being successful. Simon Hallett seized on a loose ball in midfield and raced into the Hampstead 22 with Romano Brooks in support. The visitors’ defence was good, however, and Chiswick were eventually penalised. Chance gone.

Hampstead had a player sin-binned for pulling a maul down, but Chiswick could not take advantage, and in their efforts to get an attack going, were penalised in turn for handling in the ruck. Hampstead attacked through some weak tackling and gained a penalty. The kick hit the bar and came back, to be well dealt with by Rory Fletcher. Matt Pickering took a knock, but stayed on. Adie Lewis had a good run from full back, ending with an excellent touch kick, and the scrum was coping well, however, despite having a hooker playing prop.

With the return of their player from the sin bin, Hampstead were galvanised into a phase of running rugby, started by their full back running back a high kick from Gabriel Lowe, carried on by their threes, and ending with a try in the right corner. Chiswick looked suitably shocked, as were the Hampstead supporters. ( But the smiles soon followed ). The kick failed. With Chiswick struggling to find an attacking route, not helped by having a scrum half filling in on the right wing, Hampstead seized the initiative, and when Mat Cooper was, unusually, thrown back in a tackle, they conceded another penalty, which was comfortably converted.

Fletcher romped after the restart kick and snaffled it, setting up a sustained Chiswick attack, with John Joyce, Cooper and Fletcher prominent, before Luckman sold a smart dummy and coasted through for a try, which he then converted. The lead was short-lived, as Hampstead slotted another penalty, and then cooped up Chiswick in their 22, with neat interpassing before their prop dived over the line with both of the Chiswick props hanging on to him. The kick came back off the post, and Chiswick were still ( just ) in it.

The home team started the second half well, but despite a huge effort, with John Gibson and Hallett prominent, they could not rock the Hampstead defence, and it was the visitors who came back and scored another, unconverted try. The only good thing for Chiswick was the sight of Ben Cheston coming on as sub after a long period out. The resultant reshuffle was amazing, involving, inter alia, swapping scrum-half with winger, and replacing fly half with centre, winger with full back and full back with fly half. None of this was, unsurprisingly, noticeably successful initially. The introduction of Stuart Parmeter did introduce some dynamism in the pack, but also some confusion in the backs, as Parmeter and Cooper inserted themselves into the line.

Luckman did get three points back after some good mauling and a high tackle, but the final points went to Hampstead with another penalty kick

Chiswick team :- Donaldson ( Parmeter ), Tucker, Joubert, Pickering, Tonkin, Cooper, Fletcher, Joyce ( Kelly ), Lowe, Luckman, Brooks ( Cheston ), Gibson, Hallett, Gill, Lewis

December 13, 2010