Saturday 11th February 2017

London 2 North West (Level 7)

Tabard 20 Hammers 5

This past weekend saw a return to league rugby with the Hammers travelling up to face Tabard. Historically the opposition have been strong in the forwards and with the snow falling it certainly didn’t look like the conditions would suit the running rugby style familiar to the Hammers.

Despite the conditions the Hammers pack certainly showed their intentions early on, some strong carries by Smart, Murray, Josh “Cheese” McLean and Darrell meant Hammers manged to get good front foot ball. However it was Tabard who were first to strike with a penalty. 3-0 to the home side.

A battle for territory became the focus for a good portion of the half, the Tabard 10 using his boot to good affect to keep the Hammers pinned in their own half. Bryant and Bane had other ideas though and delivered some sublime counter attacks that put the pressure right back on Tabard. However the Hammers were often too guilty of forcing the last pass resulting in turnovers.

Hammers still continued to press and strong midfield running by the bash brothers ( CCS and Tass) and some half breaks by Doherty allowed the Hammers to camp themselves inside the Tabard half. A good passage of play eventually resulting in a penalty, however Gallo unable to convert the kick meant the Hammers came away with nothing. The resulting 22 drop out saw the tables turned with Tabard using their big runners to put Hammers into defence mode. Hammers did their best to hold out an onslaught on their own line but after a strong stand off, Tabard managed to squeeze over and score. At the half the home side led 10-0.

Hammers looked to play more rugby in the 2nd period, the front row quartet of Jacob, Horse, Blyghts and the Nugget showing that technique beats size and managed to get the upper hand at scrum time. Great work by Lloyd at line out time resulted in some good steals and provided Hammers with more ball. It was the decision making and execution that was letting the opportunities slip and numerous trips to Tabard red zone resulted in no points. The home side eventually doing enough defensively to get out of their half and turn the tables once again. A penalty and then a brilliantly executed cross kick led to a second Tabard try and a commanding 20-0 lead.

In the last 10 the game certainly opened with the Hammers needing to produce something special. Some great breaks by CCS, Oli Chambers and Chance resulting in a try scored by Lloyd after some neat interplay down the left hand touchline. Again the conversion missed by Gallo and time running out meant a comfortable 20-5 victory to the hosts.

A frustrating day for the Hammers, with uncharacteristic handling errors and poor decision making, who now have it all to play for in the coming weeks.The boys however are eager to get things back on track again this weekend at home.

  • Tries: 1
  • Conversions: 0
  • Penalties: 0
  • Drop Goals: 0
  • Hammers: -
  • Substitutes: ATN, Julian Draper, Chance Gray
  • Debut: -
  • Man of the Match: -
  • Tin Man: -