Chiswick given lesson by league leaders
On a windy Riverside afternoon Chiswick started brightly against the League leaders, managing to take their own first lineout, and getting a bit of a push on in the first scrum. A multi-phase attack, involving most of the team took Chiswick into the Sutton 22, but ended with James Bunbury being bustled into touch. Sutton came back, and after ten minutes tried a long kick to the right corner, which went out on the Chiswick 22. Now the old problem of poor lineout work let Chiswick down again. Nicking the ball at the front of the lineout, Sutton spun it swiftly left and their strong running centre made a half-break, from which they scored the first try. No conversion followed. Chiswick responded quickly, and within four minutes fly half Simon Hallett kicked a penalty goal.
Keeping up the pressure, Chiswick worked their way towards the Sutton 22, with the forwards gaining most of the yardage. Breaks from Hallett and centre Dan Godfrey then took play into an area in front of the posts. Suddenly scrum-half Adam Ross saw a gap and jinked his way to the line. Hallett’s conversion gave Chiswick the lead, after18 minutes. Chiswick had an edge in mauling, which they exploited, but behind the pack shrewd kicking and penetrative straight running by the Sutton backs and their back row forwards kept the home threes generally on the defence. One Sutton break gave their left wing a chance to run at Dan Sutherland in a one-one situation. The Chiswick full back brilliantly anticipated the chip kick and set up a counter-attack, only for a dreadful pass in mid-field to spoil a promising move.
Sutton applied more pressure as the half progressed, and should have scored, after gaining a couple of five metre scrums, but the final pass went behind the player. Sutherland and Godfrey put in splendid tackles to deny the visitors near the home line, but the relentless pressure eventually led to a try by the Sutton No.5 near the posts, duly converted. Chiswick roared back, with Stewie Parmeter, Jon Joyce and Leslie-Miller leading the charge. Right under the posts neither Hallett nor Ross could quite make it to the line, and eventually a clearance kick was followed by the half time whistle.
This proved the turning point as Sutton caught Chiswick cold at the beginning of the second half. A quick move to the left from a central point on the Chiswick 22 was squashed but an even quicker move back across to the right left Dan Purkiss facing a wing who danced from foot to foot before racing diagonally for the posts; he was tackled short of the line but crucially now had a man inside to take a pass and dive over the line for a try which was converted.
A poor penalty kick by Chiswick failed to find touch and the opportunity to reach a good attacking position was squandered. Sutton in turn failed to breach the home defence, after a long penalty kick had found touch, but they earned a penalty in front of the posts, which they kicked. Chiswick’s play was frustratingly intermittently poor and very good at this stage, but the more consistent Sutton team had the bit between the teeth in sight of a bonus point. They used long kicks well to achieve territory, and then another lineout failure by Chiswick, on the visitors 22, led to a quick counter-attack by Sutton, but their wing was thrown back by a powerful Sutherland tackle.
A disastrously bad Chiswick throw in after a penalty kick to touch ( a scrum might have been a better option ) led to the next score, Sutton attacking rapidly down the touch line after gaining possession, and their Nos.8 and 6 combined neatly to send their scrum half in for the fourth try, duly converted. With sub James Dibble on, Chiswick finally got possession from a lineout in the visitors’ 22, but had it soon turned over. The home team found something extra now, however, and as play meandered on the half way line, Leslie-Miller suddenly emerged from a mass of bodies, heading for the posts. Thirty metres later he had no immediate support, but Chiswick retained possession and the ball was worked out to the right wing, where Bunbury sprinted towards the line before getting the ball to sub Gabs Lowe for the touch down. The kick, against the wind, was not quite good enough.
An excellent advantage by the referee led to another converted Sutton try, the Chiswick left flank again being unable to cope with the well-drilled running and interpassing under pressure of the opponents. Chiswick retorted in kind, with Bunbury and Parmeter making good breaks before a high tackle by Sutton gave Chiswick a penalty. Keeping possession well, Chiswick now scored their third try, an inside pass by Hallett to Parmeter and another inside pass to Sutherland allowing the latter to go under the posts, with Hallett adding the points. Sutton closed the match with another good try ( not converted ) in the right corner.
Chiswick team :- Shattock, Parmeter, Dean, Hood, Fatsis, Joyce, Copperwheat, Leslie-Miller, Ross, Hallett, Steer, Godfrey, Bunbury, Purkiss, Sutherland; Dibble, Allen-Clarke, Lowe