Chiswick succumb to mauling

Rugby Result - Old Grammarians 20   Chiswick 19


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Bottom-of-the-table Grammarians found the key to defeating the league leaders. On their own small, bumpy and sloping pitch they played a limited but very effective game, with the power of the pack backed by an excellent kicking display by their fly half. It was apparent early on that they had the upper hand at the lineouts, hence kicks to touch by either side gave them plenty of ball.

With a crowded mid-field, there was little open rugby early on, but the home team went ahead when a penalty kick crawled over one end of the bar. Chiswick, with the benefit of the slope, began to open out more, and after a sustained and impressive passage of attacking play involving most of the team, gained a scrum in the home 22.

A practiced move saw full back Jon Lovell ghosting through a gap between the centres to score under the posts. Fly half Keith Luckman added the points. Alistair Pickering, at No.8, was having a great game in the loose, and also in the lineouts, when the ball evaded the main jumpers, but the home team kept the game very tight when possible, and always controlled the middle of the lineouts, where their mauls started. It was such a maul, just before half-time, from a five-metre lineout that led to a home try for their No.17, which was not converted.

The second half was more of the same, until Ben Hinze managed a mid-field break to get the game into the home 22. Chiswick pressure followed, and Pickering got over the line, but the ball was adjudged held up. A good scrum allowed Hinze and Luckman to feed Sam Brown on the wing, who managed to flip the ball up out of the tackle for scrum half Will Ulstein to cross the line. The conversion attempt failed. Chiswick made a pig’s ear of dealing with the restart kick and were immediately under pressure, only just coping with the resultant maul.

Chiswick troubles then really started, with an unexpected yellow carding. The penalties started coming thick and fast for the visitors, and the inevitable kick into the corner allowed another home maul to start, again successful, as was the conversion kick. Raising their game, Chiswick responded, and wing Roman Zakrevsky and centre Dan Coffey were both brought up just short, before Luckman and Hinze created a half chance for Zakrevsky, who powered through some grasping hands to score in the corner. Luckman produced a superb conversion.

Back to full strength, it looked as though Chiswick might hold out, but almost immediately they had another forward yellow carded, after several warnings, and then, deep into injury time, disaster struck. A maul was held up just short of the line, and with Chiswick having replaced their left winger with a forward, the Grammarians fly half produced an inch perfect cross kick over Lovell’s head for their winger to run onto and score. As the ball passed the wrong side of the post, the whistle went.

Chiswick team :- Johnson (Donaldson), Parsonage, Campbell (Betts), Williams, Chraplewczyk, Maguire, Robbings (Smith), Pickering, Ulstein, Luckman, Zakrevsky, Hinze, Coffey, Brown, Lovell

February 13, 2006