The visit of Chiswick 3rds to do battle with the Spartans offered the chance for the Thamesians to right the wrongs of the away trip where they conceded 60 points with a 'thin' squad. The day was set up perfectly with the sun shining down on Marble Hill Park and a big home support building ahead of the Ts double header.
A simple game plan - take the game to them by fronting up physically, running hard, and hitting the tackles and rucks for your lives. Once you've tired them out you'll have earnt the right to move the ball wide.
The game started with the Ts enjoying territory and putting their bodies on the line in defence and competing for every ball at the ruck. Chiswick had got the message that the Ts weren't going to roll over, but after a dominant scrum on the Ts line and a few carries from their sizeable pack it saw them crash over for the games opening try 0-5.
The Ts didn't panic and rallied quickly putting the opening try behind them as they could sense their game plan was working. Andy Forde stepped up and slotted a long range penalty bringing the deficit down to just 2 points 5-3.
With the game so tight the Ts were able to start exploring the wider channels and space with mad Max making a great break down the right touchline. The first half came to a close with the Ts absorbing more heavy pressure from the Chiswick pack on their 22, the willingness to take a hit through numbers 1-15 meant that the Ts line stood strong and the half finished at 3-5.
The sense of occasion was building and the opposition could be heard complaining about the noise of the touchline such was the level of the home support and how absorbed they'd become in the match.
A passionate half time team talk from the coaches which was buoyed by the standard of performance and the heart on show. The team were putting into practice the drills they'd worked on in training. The message was that if they continued playing the way they had in the first half then it wouldn't matter about the result...the Spartans had other ideas.
The Ts picked up right where they'd left off, competing every breakdown and dogged defence. The big Chiswick pack began to tire and the Ts were able to start moving the ball around and eventually finding space in the right hand corner with Steve (Bob) Eaton wiggling his way through and over the line, 8-5 advantage Ts.
After a long clearance kick and a good chase the Ts stripped the ball from Chiswick and the quick thinking Forde spotting no one was at home sent the ball over the top once more. Bob was after it like a dog for a bone and he reached the ball first toe poking the ball from under the Chiswick defender and diving onto the loose ball for his second try of the game and to take the Ts 13-5 clear.
Building on the Ts second half dominance Dom who'd been everywhere in the game was looking to add to that lead. After a strong drive he was tackled and outstretched one of those big arms reaching desperately for the try line, unfortunately it was the 5m and not the line he had in mind!
The second DotD nomination was Forde for defying captains orders and kicking the ball to touch when told to take the points. With the 8point buffer and time ticking down on the clock the Ts looked for one more try. After a succession of phases the Ts worked space down the left hand side and after some quick ruck ball the Ts moved the ball to Kenny who was able to run hard at a gap and break over the line. A successful conversation saw the games last points bringing the final score line to 20-5.
Special mentions could be made throughout this squad for individual performances on the day, but it really was a total team performance that won the day and made for one of the most enjoyable games of the season.
#wemove by Adam Williams
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