Chiswick Finally Secure Home Win with Mature Performance
Chiswick followed up a strong win in Harpenden with a good performance against a gritty Enfield side. A mature and assured performance for most of the match saw a 44-10 win, with Chiswick controlling the game for long periods and taking their chances when they came.
Andy Barrington and Sinan Rabee need not have worried about keeping the momentum going after last week’s splendid performance at Harpenden. In a rousing display of attacking rugby, Chiswick combined powerful and error-free multi-phase attacks with a solid defensive performance against visitors who defended well, but ultimately could not handle the sustained pressure they were subjected to.
Early home possession showed the team’s intent, with Stewie Parmeter (on his 100th appearance for the club) barrelling through in the middle of the back line, but James Bunbury’s first attempted sprint around the defence ended with a multiple tackle into touch. The first score came after four minutes when a Chiswick lineout was won by No.7, Rich Bryan, and an efficient maul took the home pack well into the middle of the visitors’ 22. The ball was finally released to the left, where Gabs Lowe aimed for a gap before slotting an accurate grubber kick through the defence and into the path of wing Dan Purkiss, who touched down a mere couple of feet from the touch-line. Simon Hallett’s kick failed.
Ignatians replied immediately with an unconverted try near the left corner following a sustained attack, involving lots of bullocking running, after their kick-off had been knocked on by Chiswick. Game on, it seemed. Dan Sutherland rocketed upfield chasing the kickoff, and managed to knock it back, leading to a period of home possession. Chiswick were well held at first but finally got a penalty and Hallett picked up an easy three points. Enfield countered the home pressure with some dangerous breaks from their scrums, instigated by their useful No.8. An elusive run by their No.13, untouched by several attempted tackles, almost led to another try, but Chiswick managed a turnover, and got out of the danger area. Max Burrows had several attempts at burrowing through the centre of the Enfield defence, but it was Bryan who found the right line, after another break and offload from Bunbury, who slipped the ball back inside for Burrows to score the second (unconverted) try.
Enfield then wasted a good position, kicking a penalty over the dead ball line, and from then on Chiswick got on top, but only after Hallett had rescued a useful high kick by Enfield, which had just eluded one of their players in space. Hallett set up a counter-attack, using the power and pace of Sutherland, which culminated in a sprint by Bunbury and a try for Burrows, the centres combining well again. Hallett added the extra points. A minute later scrum half Ross Dovey scored the bonus point try (unconverted), to finish off the first half in some style.
Burrows made a great break early in the second half, with the ubiquitous Sam Leslie-Miller in close support, but ultimately on the wrong side for Burrows to manage to pass to him. Enfield lost their No.8 to injury, making life easier for the home team and the pack celebrated by achieving a scrum turnover. Gaining the ball at a ruck, the forwards then took it on before Hallett set Bunbury loose. He got the ball out to Purkiss, steaming down the left touchline. The final inside pass was perfectly timed, but had to be plucked off his toes by the flying Bunbury for a spectacular (converted) try.
Keeping the pressure up, Chiswick added another (unconverted) try, when Hallett decided to have a go himself, and simply rounded the opposition defence to score out on the right. Enfield began to come back into the game, and Chiswick were lucky when a final pass out went through the wing’s arms into touch – he shook his head in disbelief. Chiswick then dropped the ball when a try looked imminent. There was time for another (converted) home try, with Purkiss supplying the pass to the ever-greedy Burrows, on a hat-trick. The final score went to the persistent opposition, who were better than the score suggests.