Looking to follow on from a solid winning performance against Chiswick the week before Hammers travelled along the Upper Richmond Road to face top of the league Rosslyn Park B’s on their 4G pitch.
Continuing from where they left off the week before, Hammers started the game strongly playing organised and disciplined rugby on the fast surface which Park struggled to deal with. Ed Brown (9) capitalising on the pace of the ball to snipe from the side of the ruck and go over for the first try of the game. Gathering the re-start Hammers worked the ball back, through slick hands and structured play, to see Bob Davies (5) bundle over for his first try for Hammers in the 3 years he has been with the club.
Park responded the way a team that sits top of the league would, putting pressure on the resilient Hammers defence. Keeping them out for over 5 minutes eventually saw Park take a shot a gaols to cut the Hammers lead to 3-12 after twenty minutes. However, this pressure from Park kept up and Park ended up holding onto the ball effectively and scored two tries to take a 20-12 lead at half time.
The second half saw both teams continue the physical and expansive rugby that had been played in the first half as they searched to establish and capitalise on a lead. Park looked though as they had done enough to win when they lead by 23 points with 20 minutes left to go, however a well taken try from Shaun Curtis (13) and two scores from inform winger Leon (11) – one of which came from Ryan Kenny (6) turning the ball over on Hammers own 5 metre line and quick hands from Bertie (8) releasing Leon sprint clear from half-way – saw Park’s lead cut to 8 points with 12 minutes to go. Try as they might Hammers could not create the opportunities that they structure play deserved and Park kicked a penalty and held on to win the game by 11 points, 40-29.
A well-played game by both sides, but Hammers realise that accurate retention of the ball is crucial in this league to winning and couldn’t help but feel that they could have gotten more out of the game and look forward to taking on Belsize Park in two weeks’ time.
Leon Joseph x2
Man of The Match: Leon Joseph
Tin-Man: Seb Money – Leon scored hat-trick, touch judge Seb ruled his foot was on the line as he grounded the ball