Hammers turned up keen and fired up for the first game of the 2018 fixture list, hoping to leave behind some of the disappointing results seen in the first half of the season. Whilst results hadn’t gone our way, the Hammers 1st XV were playing some attractive rugby and looked confident in all pre match preparations.
This continued past the first whistle as the Hammers dominated the first half. Despite letting in a try after 20 minutes, the Hammers bit back by scoring 3 tries in quick succession.
The first came after a blistering flat line from back rower Angus simply split the Belsize defence in two with as hard line off 10. Beating one more man and being caught by another, a one handed offload to fellow back rower Magnus put the first points on the board.
As if that wasn’t textbook enough, the second try came from another break of the Belsize midfield as fly half Jack used some fancy footwork to reach around the defender and tee up an inside offload to Lloyd Beeston who had one man to beat 15 meters out. In true Christmas spirit, presents had continued into the new year for lock Josh who offered a cracking support line to make it a 2v1. A simple and quick inside pass from Lloyd to Josh finished off yet another good offloading try.
Whilst still carrying the momentum of the previous two tries, it was time for the backs to have a crack. After receiving the kick off, hammers ran straight back at Belsize and put the ball straight out to winger J Lo who only had 4 men to beat over 50 meters. One, two, three, four handoffs produced an easy finish for the Hammers winger to make it 19-5 to the home team.
The second half gave little to scream and shout about for the Hammers. Belsize clearly had a wake up call and came back at the Hammers on a number of occasions, admittedly down to poor decision making and handling errors being punished. Letting in 4 tries in the second half left Hammers with too much to salvage but a try scoring bonus point. A late push from the home side wasn’t enough to secure the bonus point and the game ended with a flattering score line for Belsize to take home.
Final Score: Hammers – 19, Belsize Park – 34
Harpenden away next in a must win game.