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Chiswick celebrate victory on Rocky’s remembrance day
Wearing one green sock and one yellow sock each, the Chiswick team remembered Rocky Skinner in style with some of the best rugby of the season. Importantly this was against a useful Chobham team, who had defeated Chiswick comprehensively at home, albeit against 14 players for much of the match.
Chiswick kicked off and kept Chobham penned in their half until a typical break by Sam Leslie-Miller led to the first try. He charged down the middle, and did a couple of spin turns before handing over to Adam Ross. The ball was moved out right with Rikki Darroch and Dan Godfrey involved before Tom Steer held off a strong challenge to score in the corner. Simon Hallett, although urged on by the vocal Under-9s, could not quite add the points.
The Chobham pack were pushed back around twenty metres at the first scrum, and Chiswick retained control of this area throughout the game. The lineouts were more even however, and Chobham were keen to attack from anywhere on the field. Fifteen minutes into the game they equalised with some neat work down the left wing, the winger scoring after Steer had been drawn just too far infield. The conversion succeeded. Almost immediately Chiswick were back in the lead, Hallett slotting a difficult kick from near the left touch-line with a left-to-right wind. Chiswick kept up the pressure, with Godfrey and Darroch always making short breaks, and the other forwards joining in the fun, and Steer’s temporary move to scrum half in place of a wounded Ross passed almost unnoticed as did Jamie Millais’ arrival on the scene.
Dan Purkiss had a good run down the wing leading to a period of Chiswick pressure in the Chobham 22. Ross got over the try-line, but washeld up. The ensuing scrums were too much for Chobham, however, and the referee eventually awarded Chiswick a penalty try, which Hallett converted. The next player to exploit the left touchline was prop Heath McDonough with a scorching run which got Chiswick into the Chobham 22. The move was halted illegally as Sam Hood went for the line, and Hallett kicked another beauty from near the left touchline. Chiswick could have scored another try just before half-time, but Hallett couldn’t find the support after a strong break.
Chiswick continued their control into the second half, and Hallett soon kicked another penalty goal. Chobham then took a quick throw-in to the backs, and set up a position well into the home 22. After several phases, each closer to the line, one of their forwards plunged over from short range. The kick hit the post, but below the bar.
Ross had to deal with a cunning short kick, and did brilliantly, beating one tackler as he caught the ball, and bisecting the other two on the burst. There then followed a strange sequence of a miss-kicked penalty, a Chobham defender catching the ball and not knowing what to do, a ferocious follow-up tackle by the kicker, a whistle, another whistle and a command to Chobham players to retreat ten metres, and a further whistle to call back Ross, who by this stage had almost reached the Chobham line with the ball in his hands. Finally, Chiswick kicked the ball to touch, and with an imperious leap by Leslie-Miller at the tail of the lineout, set up a maul from which Jon Joyce touched down. Hallett got the conversion.
The point-scoring fourth try involved Purkiss in the build-up, and then a weaving run by Dan Sutherland, tracked by Steer, who well-deserved the final pass he got. Chobham kept trying and got a good consolation try at the end. With two wins upon his return, it could be that Darroch is the one to inspire Chiswick through the last four league fixtures, and in the Middlesex Cup Final.