Chiswick chastened by Chobham
On a cold bright day Chiswick were outsmarted by a Chobham team who could afford to lose two players to yellow cards without blinking. Chiswick in turn lost two players, to injury in this case, in the first fifteen minutes. The fact that it was two props rather spoilt the match for the purists, as scrums were thereafter uncontended.
Stewie Parmeter, hero against Havant, was the first to go, with suspected concussion, and poor Jannie Joubert, in his first outing of the season, was next, with leg failure of some sort. With Simon Allen-Clarke coming on in the front row, the Chiswick pack coped well against the home eight around the park, although lineouts were always a bit of a lottery, with Sam Leslie-Miller having to show great dexterity again – the end-to-end wind might have been an excuse except that Chobham had no problems in this area.
The opening moves were typical of what came later. Chiswick moved the ball along the line and Grindle did a neat chip over the defence, well read by the home scrum-half, who immediately counter-attacked, only for their right winger to slip into touch after worryingly easily dodging Grindle’s tackle. There were later occasions when hopeful Chiswick kicks were not high enough to give players time to get up, nor low enough to cause bouncing problems, and were run back with venom by the excellent home full back; the lesson should have been learnt. The first Chiswick lineout was taken comfortably by Chobham, and Chiswick’s defence, with Luca Vannini showing the way splendidly, was tested straight away. Chiswick managed to kick the ball upfield, and their first attack, with Dan Godfrey prominent, led to a penalty. Simon Hallett’s kick for goal was good, but not good enough.
Jon Joyce ran the kick-off back well, and a promising move ended in the backs when a poor pass evaded both of the outside players. At this stage the Chiswick pack was suddenly pushed back yards at a scrum, leaving the hapless Joubert, in obvious pain, in its wake. A disturbed Chiswick then made a crucial error, with an almost regulation pass along their own goal-line being spilled. With an uncontested scrum in front of the posts, Chobham chose their number one option, sending their fleet-footed full back in for a simple try, not converted. Dan Purkiss did well to cope with a high kick as Chobham used the wind well. Their next attack, however, down the left wing, involved a number of hand-offs of less than determined tacklers and led to a try in the left corner, duly converted. Minutes later, Chiswick capitulated again after initially doing well to wrap up the home full back and right wing; quick handling and strong running leading to an unconverted try by their left wing. Purkiss, undaunted got a good low kick in, and although the home wing just beat him to the ball, Chiswick gained a promising position. Maintaining territory, a couple of penalties later saw a good take by Marc Copperwheat at a lineout, and a quick transfer to Joyce, lead to a try for Copperwheat, with the pack in full support. Hallett’s kick again just failed. Another home try, five minutes into injury time, against the run of play and courtesy of another hopeful kick to the home full back, destroyed the Chiswick mini-revival.
Dan Godfrey showed how to tackle the home full back at the beginning of the second half, and Leslie-Miller, having failed first time, chased the home inside centre and finally got his man. Hallett then, having again given a gift kick to the home wing, did well to get back in defence and get the ball into touch. Home try number 5 came from a five metre lineout, and was converted. Sub Jamie Milais came on and was soon showing a lot of intent. James Bunbury showed his pace, beating the home players to a kick into the Chiswick 22. Chobham were playing with abandon now, however, and Grindle was again exposed in a one-on- one against a player racing down the touch line. He got a pretty good tackle in, but could not hold on, and converted try number 6 was on the board.
The next fifteen minutes were more even as Chiswick put in a great effort to salve some pride, and Chobham made a few more mistakes. At this stage a technical offence, and then a losing of temper reduced the home team to thirteen. Chiswick repeated their maul-over-the-line-and-touch-down move, with Leslie-Miller the scorer, to reduce the deficit with five minutes left, but Chobham got the last say in injury time when their number 8 got over after a scrum in the middle of the Chiswick 22.
Chiswick team :- Chraplewczyk, Dibble, Parmeter, Watene, Copperwheat, Joyce, Biss, Leslie-Miller, Vannini, Hallett, Purkiss, Godfrey, Bunbury, Sutherland, Grindle; Joubert, Allen-Clarke, Milais