UCS Old Boys are defeated at Chiswick but Bradshaw’s confident results will come

Damir Jovanovic. Pic: Nick Cook/UCS Old Boys RFC

Damir Jovanovic. Pic: Nick Cook/UCS Old Boys RFC - Credit: Archant

UCS Old Boys travelled to Chiswick in London Division Two North-West on Saturday, and they went down 58-12 after receiving a lesson in game management and execution.

James May and Dominic Rollo-Walker touched down in the second half but it was not enough to secure a result as UCS were condemned to their seventh successive league defeat, leaving them bottom of the table.

Player-coach Carl Bradshaw said: “The boys certainly put the effort in. However, our defensive structure went in the second half and we stopped functioning as a unit. We’ve got plenty of work to do at training on Tuesday but I’m confident that we can start to get some positive results.”

After a deep kick-off from fly-half Alex Lowe, the Old Boys spent the first 10 minutes camped in the Chiswick 22.

Industrious work from prop Dave Myers and flanker Phil Trotter saw the visitors threaten Chiswick’s try-line time and time again – but the home side’s defence held firm throughout the opening exchanges and UCS failed to capitalise on their dominance.

Chiswick’s early patience was justly rewarded as some well-placed kicks took them to the opposite end of the pitch, and subsequently it was the Old Boys’ turn to repel attacks on their own line.

UCS were resilient and showed impressive scramble defence, and Chiswick had to put 10 phases together before they won a penalty in front of goal and accepted the three points.

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The Old Boys enjoyed a moment of brilliance around the 20-minute mark when Gareth Watson-Cowan made a scything break in midfield and suddenly found himself galloping downfield unopposed.

Realising that he did not have the pace to go all the way, the prop placed an expertly-executed grubber kick near the Chiswick try-line, which forced their full-back to hack the ball into touch.

However, the Old Boys again failed to capitalise on their strong field position from the resulting line-out – and the hosts then gained their first try of the afternoon as their scrum-half put the left winger away under the posts for a converted score.

Shortly afterwards, ill-discipline left UCS with 14 players as Alex Lowe was sent to the sin-bin - and Chiswick exploited their numerical advantage on the stroke of half-time as their left winger scored his second try of the game.

Despite being 15 points down at the interval, UCS players started the second half with vigour as second rows May and Billy Noonan both made yards in the tight.

No8 Damir Jovanovic also made a series of effective carries from the base of the scrum, but the Old Boys soon conceded another try against the run of play when their outside centre made a ghosting run and sent his fly-half over the whitewash.

UCS eventually opened up their account for the day around the 50-minute mark when substitute scrum-half Carl Bradshaw took a quick tap penalty, and a series of pick-and-goes eventually saw May crash over in the corner, despite protests from the home supporters that he had his arm in touch when he grounded the ball.

The Old Boys grew in confidence and they continued to apply pressure to the Chiswick pack up front - but the home side’s backs proved to be the decisive factor as they scored four tries in quick succession.

The Old Boys were down but not out and smart hands from Lowe and Tom Bamford put Rollo-Walker into space. The winger was tackled short of the line but he managed to reach out and touch the ball down to score in the same corner as May’s earlier try.

Lowe duly converted but there was no time for a comeback Chiswick rounded off the game with two final tries to bring their total for the day to nine.

UCS Old Boys: Watson-Cohen, Henk, Myers (Ghanem), May, Noonan (Pope), Trotter, Klimov, Jovanovic, McAviney, Lowe, Bamford, Arnold, Sleath (Bradshaw), Rollo-Walker, Gulliford.