After the disappointment of relegation last season and the departure of Adrian Hoile (Chiswick RFC Director of Rugby), who took the club to a level of achievement never seen before, pre-season was slightly behind schedule. Sadly, early in the season we also lost the services of the ever-ebullient Head Coach Nick Hugget.
After these events it was always going to be a challenge to start fresh in a new league with a full set of new tactical plays, both in attack and defence. The 1 st XV won the opening match against Belsize Park but an early injury list and new club structure left squads facing an uphill challenge.
The club reacted quickly to the departure of Nick H by introducing Andy Barrington, to join Shane and myself in the coaching set up, and the mettle shown from players to cover all teams provided the continuity we needed to get all fixtures played.
Currently the 1 st XV sit in 5 th place, having lost 5 and won 7. On average we have scored 27 and conceded 24, which has given us 10 bonus points, but will most definitely be improved upon. Max Burrows leads the try scoring with 9. Some honorable mentions should go to Russ Dovey who has continued to improve in every game. We have also welcomed exceptional talent in Jonny Olley, Ben Barkham and Tom Gadsby in the pack.
The new look 2 nd XV are clawing back and sit at 9 th place in MMT1. It’s been an incredibly difficult first half of the season for this group. Players have shown courage and resilience in some tough matches. It’s this attitude that will see us through this season and beyond. Ultimately building towards a club with depth and commitment to perform our best in every team. It was great to see Bruce Middleton make his 1st team debut against Norwich and the return of Rhemayo Brooks to the club.
The ever-strong 3 rd XV are at the top of MMT4 having only lost to Quintin in the last game of 2017. The usual stalwarts stand out: Alex Isidro; Roman Zakrevsky; Keith Luckman; and new boy Jeremy August.
Finally the 4 th XV who have at times looked like serious contenders in MMT6 with great victories against Hackney and Bank of England. Thanks to Phil Dewes and John Kelly for all their hard work.
We have also welcomed a number of younger players this year who have been a key element to building a solid squad for the future: Ed Peach, Ben McCulloch and Danny Reade. Thank you to them.
To all the injured players who haven’t been out on the park this season so far, keep working on your rehab and being there to support and celebrate with us, and we’re looking forward to having you back. Huge thanks to physios Ania and Clare who are both a key members of the Chiswick Family.
The socials (Captains Cocktails, Octoberfest, Fireworks night, Dibbles 30th) have been brilliant but more importantly it has been great seeing members from all 4 senior teams coaching the M&J on Sunday mornings.
There will be big and exciting changes at the end of the season when work will start on upgrading the clubs facilities (changing rooms, pitches etc). However, we need to remain loyal to our values and continue to enjoy our time at Chiswick RFC.
Author: Sinan Rabee