So the year began with a trip to a land once graced by Piri Weepu and Gavin Henson. London Welsh had been fairly easy oppo earlier in the season, but our own statistician and ex-pro surfer Antoine Bourgault had informed us they hadn’t lost since our last encounter, indicating a change in personnel perhaps.
Hammers began very well, with direct ball carrying from Tomos Edwards and Michael Cushion. Before long the pressure told and Hammers were 10-0 up thanks to tries from Jim Mitchell (showing that marriage infact does not sap you of any strength) and Jamie Drysdale.
A few lapses in defence however, soon led to us going in level at the break at 10-10.
The second half saw a high tempo set with both sides exchanging tries despite Hammers dominating the territory battle. A few stray final passes from the hammers kept London Welsh in the game and with 10 mins to go Welsh hit back to cut the hammers lead to 22-20.
Some smart “up the jumper” rugby along with the boot of Craig Duffy positioned the Hammers back in the Welsh 22. A couple of rhinos later Duffy jinked through a gap with the athleticism of a young Gary Player and touched down for the vital meat pie. A tidy conversion by Stiven Danby put the game out of reach from Welsh with 2 mins left on the clock.
Tackle of the game: Rory Newton dump tackle on no.8 approx 3 stone heavier than him.
Controversial moment: SBW denied fairytale comeback try (after knee surgery) by shocking referee call of crossing.
Try of the game: Jamie Drysdale from 35 yards out finishing off a backs move.
Man of match: Craig Duffy – providing top service for the forwards. Metronomic touch finders and spotting the gap in the 77th minute to seal the game.