Coming into this weeks game both teams had been struggling with recent results, with London Nigerian sat at just above the mid way point in the league table and the Hammers sitting in relegation zone at 11th. After two very good training sessions in the wet weather, the Hammers boys were desperate to put in a big shift and produce the upset they had been long waiting for.
With both the home crowd and wind behind the Hammers the game kicked off.
Within the first play of the game the Hammers asserted themselves and took full control. The lads were very quickly rewarded for this initial push with a try from back rower Julie Draper. With such a quick score it was essential the boys didn’t ease off.
After the restart the Nigerians were once again pinned back within their 22, struggling to get out of their own half and taking a beating from the home sides’ attack. The Nigerians’ scrum half did not help the cause missing touch 5 times in the first half subjecting his team to an onslaught from the Hammers back three.
Hammers wing James Lo soon capitalised on these mistakes with a try in the corner following a strong touch line run. Scrum half Ollie Chambers slotted the kick to make it 12 – 0 in almost as many minutes.
With another restart and the wind still on the Hammers side the Nigerians found themselves in an all familiar position for the day, the Hammers seemed to have great control of the game at the half way point in the first half. After some decent phase play flanker Magnus Barber managed to get on the end of a superbly timed offload to run in another home try. Ollie once again hitting him target and keeping the score board ticking over in favour of the home side.
Not to be out done by the forwards, fullback Hamish Dalgarno and winger David Bloxsom both put their names on the score sheet picking up a try a piece before the close of half time.
HT HFRFC 29 – London Nigerian 0
The second half kicked off with the wind blowing into the face of the Hammers. London Nigerian now had a chance at inflicting some damage back onto their opposition. However, some great defence and even better set piece from the pack leveraged the control back in favour of the home side.
Just past the 10 minute mark in the second half the score board ticked over again, in favour of the red and whites as Julien Draper picked up his second try of the match. Ollie managed to turn the 5 pointer into a 7 pointer with the home side now well and truly out in front and looking very hard to catch.
Moments later London Nigeria responded with some attacking play of their own. They managed to make impressionable yards through some decent phase play from within their own half. A penalty kick towards the corner flag then found them within touching distance of the Hammers’ try line. Nigerians resorted to some classic “ball under the shirt” rugby opting for a driving maul which led to their Number 5 getting over the line for their first score of the afternoon.
With less than 10 minutes to go and the game well in the home sides control captain Mark Blyghton opted for a kick at goal following a string of infringements from the away side deep in their own half. Ollie nudged the additional 3 points putting the score well and truly out of reach of the visitors.
To top things off, the Hammers finished some well deserved play again through Dalgarno who carved his way seamlessly through the Nigerians back line to snatch his second for the day. Ollie once again picked up the conversion which put an end to the play for what was a thoroughly enjoyable bonus point win for the Hammers.
FT HFRFC 46 – London Nigerian 5
Tries: Dalgarno 2, Draper 2, Barber, Bloxsom, Lo
Kicks: Chambers (4 con, 1 pen)
MOM: Tom Assal