Hammers 1st XV continue their winning ways against Fullerians

The day? November the 23rd.  The opponents? Fullerians. The Pitch? Well, apparently the latest suburban race-track for their “local rivals”, but it was soft-to-heavy and primed for a forward dominated game.

Kick-off.  The game starts with a frenetic kicking contest, each back three playing a game of “No after you” whilst successfully missing touch several times (a theme that would continue throughout the contest). The forwards – looking upward in despair – wondered if they would ever taste the sweet brutality of contact, or perhaps today was to be a day for bird watching.  A Fullerian knock-on, and those concerns were quickly put to bed.  A scrum on the half-way line, and the hammers settled into early control of the game, as the “best looking pack ever to grace the field of play” (as one mature admirer of Alex “Rich Tea” Hart put it) began doing what they do best.

The Hammers looked good with the ball. Without it, Dave Arnot began demonstrating Scottish Rugby League Hooliganism at its finest by demolishing opponents on-and-off the ball with equal ferocity. It is rumoured the Fullerians coaching staff used their fancy intercom system to get a message to the referee – “ our 12 is really a prop” – and with this new knowledge the referee threatened to smack Dave’s bottom if he continued playing so hard, and told him to apologise for being too good at ending people.

Zac “howyafarkengoin” Halliday

It didn’t take long for Hammers pressure to tell. A penalty – side entry to the dominant Hammers maul – by Fullerians on the half way line provided an opportunity.  A touch finder from Ben “recently single” Hatton, and the ominous prospect of a Hammers lineout within their 22 became a Fullerian defensive reality.  A throw from Zac “howyafarkengoin” Halliday, and the maul rolled on again only to be brought down before the whitewash. The forwards backed themselves, and inspired by Boris Johnston’s tactical nous, prorogued the back line and resorted to pick-and-go’s. Angus “Who wants stash” Lean finally crossing the try-line for Hammers’ first points.  A conversion from Ben “Bumble” Hatton and the Hammers were 7-0 up. 3 points quickly followed from a penalty and the Hammers stretched to 0-10 lead.

Unfortunately the remainder of the half’s last 20 minutes was a great example of how not to play Rugby, score tries, or defend a lead. Notable line breaks from James Lo, and Alex Gee came to naught. Complacency bled into a disillusionment and like Brexit, the Hammers stalled after a strong start.  Fullerians pressed hard to capitalise with 10 minutes to go in the half. A well-worked try in the corner accompanied by a kick which defied both skill and physics resulted in a 7-10 score line, and with a few minutes to half time another penalty saw the score line levelled at 10-10.  Well done to our opposition for taking their opportunities.

The second half began with the words of Coach Mark “Do I look like a B###t” Jackson, ringing in the Hammers ears. With light fading the kicks didn’t get any better, but the intensity and desire did, with Jacob “Insta Rig” Poulton musing after the game, “At times I was unsure if we were playing man or beast it was that dark”.

The pressure finally became too much for Fullerians, who decided it was easier to play with 13 men. The first yellow for after some back chat from their captain, and the second a shoulder charge on Steve “The Doctor” John.  A penalty from Ben “Right Swipe” Hatton regained the Hammers Lead 10-13.

The game resumed, a kick-off, and for a match with few notable highlights (or light by this stage for that matter)  into the fell clutch of circumstance, and by that we mean that Jordan “Get me some Vaseline” Abbott caught the kick off under considerable pressure.  Soaring like Dumbo the elephant on the 10m line, he caught the pill and charged the Fullerian forwards.  A strong run ended about 30 meters later, from which he emerged covered in blood from a slight nose bleed.

More darkness, more pick-and-go’s and the Hammers found themselves once again camped in the Fullerians 22. Phase upon phase of pressure resulted in Pete “all smiles” Benson crossing the whitewash to put the Hammers 10 points clear again.  It was a lead that was held on to until the final whistle, by which time the game was being played by the light of the moon.

MOM: Jacob Poulton, for his strong work up front in a day dominated by the piggies.

Tin Man: Ben “Love me” Hatton, for his awesome box kicks that regularly went exactly where he and the rest of the team wanted them to go.

 

Hammers ladies 1st XV continue their winning ways

Well girls, what a game it was again. Wimbledon did challenge us and pushed us around, which only made us work harder. But it was with a great spirit that we worked hard and made the game ours, and scoring the 5 tries we need to get our well-deserved bonus point win.

It all started pretty well, and after a couple of minutes in the game we were already in Wimbledon’s 22m. Hard lines and clever play got our forwards got Fred to identify a tiny gap in their defensive line, and drove over the line with great support from Kaye. Great forwards tekkers. 0-5.

 

Opening the score line got us in a pretty confident position, we we had a cracking first 20min, with our scrums being super dominant and our strong runners breaking the defensive lines on multiple occasion. Wimbledon came at us pretty hard in that second part of the first half, but struggling to find some space as our line speed was pretty awesome. Their fly-half, acknowledging they weren’t going anywhere, went for a little kick and chase over the top of the line, and scored what was a lovely try all things considered. with the conversion, score was now 7-5.

But we were pretty much done with Wimbledon scoring tries. We were back in possession, back in their territory, and another scrum happened. That’s when our Kaye decided she’s had enough of all that scrummage and casually took the ball to go over the try line, even fooling our flankers who were still pushing when she put the ball down. Great decision making, and back in the game we were. 7-10.

 

After a kick from Wimbledon trying to find touch, Katherine managed to kept the ball in and turned what could have been the opportunity for them to be back in the game into our own chance to score. Scrum down, beautiful 8 pick-up from Kaye again, who pops it back to Katherine who had the speediest run and scored try number 3.

The following 20min gave us some pretty hard work to do, but our cracking word in defence gave us lots of tu

rnovers (thanks Kaye) and Wimbledon couldn’t just handle the pressure coming in from those tackles (Dr Alex, Lizzy and Aly I’m looking at you). Using those opportunities at their best, our back line was just on fire and Lizzy got herself one beauty o

f a try to get the score up to 7-20.

Forwards decided to join in in what was a true collective performance, and after a solid defensive effort from John which put their fly-half under pressure, Ham

mers got another quick ball to use, and Charlotte powered through about 3 people to get the score up to 7-25.

Forward of the match went to Kaye for some huge tackles, great turnovers and all-round big performance.And because we love it – we just kept going, showing everyone on the sideline that Hammers can truly play 80min of rugby at their best. In one final effort, Aly literally kangaroo springs out of a tackle to run in a try, making the final score 30-7.

  • Back of the match went to Lizzie for some great defensive work, one hell of a try and being a real threat on her wing.

Hammers 2s still undefeated!

Sunday morning… it was a glorious day… the sun was shining and thanks to the obscene early start on a Sunday… there were no people around… apart from of course our mighty twos team… To keep the day interesting, we thought we would play in the oppositions shirts on this occasion… apparently our new kit wasn’t keen on the long journey to Medway… but fear not this did not hold us back!

First half we had some good hits.. strong runs but Medways defence was on point.

Half time 5-0.

Luckily this was not where our story ended … second half we made our comeback… Jackie with her new (highly fashionable/ stylish) goggles…. I’m sure was flying on a broomstick at one point she was so fast…. Brucie… I don’t think she realised any opposition was on the pitch.. she just crashed through all.. Buks actually ran (I know there was no walking/ skipping in sight) and scored a try within 5 minutes on the pitch… imo m was a gazelle straight down the middle of the pitch to score under the posts and Helen Ryan… well her catch before scoring that try was top notch!

*disclaimer… some people scored more than one try*

We even made a best pal for life in the ref… who ran his own commentary with lines such as ‘gee.. look at the gas on that one’… and ‘Medway will never catch her’. The team work and support was on fire and I could compliment every single person for their efforts!

Forward of the match went to Lauren… and back of the match to Jess Sass. Well done to Caitlin, Dannika, Hayley and Brucie on dominating their first Hammers Games… same again next week please!

Of course the fun bus would need a whole other match report to be written on it… but you’re okay… what happens on the fun bus.. stays on the fun bus… kidding clearly these stories ALL come on tour.

Anyway, final score 43-0 BOOM… world domination!

See you all tonight, pumped for another week of rugby.

The Fantastic 4

Hammers 2s go down to HAC

It was after a heartbreaking 10-12 loss to top of the table Belsize Park that Hammersmith & Fulham 2XVs were travelling to Old Street to play against HAC hoping to start a new winning streak.

The game began quite well for H&F who obtained a line out in the opposition’s 22s after only a couple of minutes. Unfortunately, it was lost and HAC managed to make their way back to H&F’s half where they set camp for the next 20 minutes. Heroic defense never allowed HAC to cross the try line but the Hammers never really managed to get out of their half due to a poor line out and SBW-like offload attempts in the backline that didn’t end with the expected outcome.

Eventually, HAC got a clean breaks playing blindside on a scrum and came close to scoring. H&F were saved by their new number 10 Marshall MacLeod who managed to snatch the ball near the tryline. As HAC regained possession after the clearance kick and looked like their were going to spend the next 20 minutes hitting a brick wall, they eventually decided the kick a penalty when the opportunity was given. 25m to the right side of the posts and it went wide.

H&F realised that it was probably time to react and Magnus Barber celebrated his comeback to rugby by getting a penalty in H&F’s 22s which he played quickly and with good support he brought the game to HAC’s half who were then guilty of an intentional knock-on the stop the play, the first one of a long series. A good kick by French resident Louis van Langenhove and the Hammers were back for the first time in ages in HAC’s 22s. After a few phases H&F were awarded a penalty on the 22m line. Spotting that HAC’s defence wasn’t in a rush to get set, Louis vL played the penalty and thought he was off for a try only to be stopped by the referee who did not see him tapping the ball. Instead, the Hammers got a last opportunity with a 5m line out but the ball was lost and halftime was called on the beautiful score of 0-0.

The second half was more or less a remake of the first one, with HAC holding the ball in H&F’s 22s but not being able to score. As H&F’s forwards starting to get tired of defending, the scrums went backwards more and more. HAC took this opportunity to put more pressure on the Hammers’ defence and finally crossed the white wash but the ball was held up. On the following scrum, the Hammers were driven all the way back to the line and were saved by HAC’s no.8’s clumsiness who knocked the ball on whilst he only had to put pressure on it to score.

After probably 20 minutes spent in the same part of the pitch, HAC finally managed to score a try: with a scrum in Hammers’ 22s and despite a poor pass from HAC’s scrum-half that put his whole team on the back foot, HAC’s centre and captain found space out wide and one offload later a try was scored on the wing, followed by a successful conversion. HAC 7 – 0 H&FRFC.

From this moment on, the game became much more even with the Hammers finally able to put their hands on the ball. Unfortunately, silly mistakes and bad handling prevented H&F to bring too much danger. On the plus side, debutant Will Smith became a solid contender for the “Tackle of the Year” award when he absolutely dismantled his opposite man. Understanding that they would not get anymore opportunities to score a try, HAC kicked to the posts as soon as they got the possibility. From about 30m slightly to the left side of the posts, HAC’s kicker didn’t miss the target. HAC 10 – 0 H&FRFC.

With only 10 minutes left on the clock, Hammersmith & Fulham played with more urgency and finally managed to consistently go though the gainline. Following their 4th intentional knock-on of the day, HAC finally got the yellow card they deserved and it allowed H&F to settle in the opposition’s 22s. Sadly and despite another 5m line out, H&F never managed to get points on the board.

Final Score HAC 10 – 0 H&FRFC.

 

Hammers 1st XV vs Luton

The Hammers were in buoyant mood ahead of this week’s fixture against Luton after securing 3 bonus point wins on the trot. Following on from their recent appointment as the UK’s worst large airport, things weren’t looking so bright for Luton RFC, marooned as they were at the foot of the London 2 NW runway. Nonetheless, with a big pack in damp, if not quite wet, conditions, they were an obstacle that needed to be overcome.

Faced with some unavailability, the Hammers backline took on a changed look. Jack Davies came to compose the orchestra at 10, Ross Anderson played his second fiddle at 12, and there was a return to the side after his McGettigans’ tantrum for Alex Gee on the wing.

The men in red got off to a flying start. Kick-off was received and a strong exit accomplished. A poor kick return from Luton gave the Hammers time and space to counter-attack. Alex Gee was looking dangerous with ball-in-hand, probably the reason why his visa was denied. Once up into the 22, Waldron hit a lovely line and reached out foe the whitewash.

Perhaps even more pleasing was the control on proceedings the Hammers established over the next quarter. Defence was tight and organised, led by the back-row titan of Steve John, who had stopped saving lives for a few minutes to make some hits, and the menace that is Cillian Waldron. In attack, the pack moved into their patterns nicely to great effect. The pressure soon paid off with a well-executed maul, Jordan Abbot the beneficiary.

A third try followed quickly. A nice nudge over the top was chased enthusiastically by James Lo, and some deft handling by Steve John and Jacob Poulton led to the ball being returned to Lo who dived in at the corner. The game would have been put out of sight within 30 minutes had Ben Hatton not shanked a penalty from in front of the sticks after a rampaging maul was moved 30 metres up the park. Still the half-time oranges tasted sweet with the score 19-0 and the boys claiming there was plenty left in the tank.

Sadly, the second half was not more of the same. After conceding some careless breakdown penalties, Jordan Abbot did his best sleeping lion impression at one ruck too many and was shown a slice of Cornish cheddar. The heavy Luton pack used this as motivation to have an impact and started applying pressure particularly at the scrum. Andrew ‘the human hinge’ Rogan spent one scrum like a duck in water – neck bent over and feet off the ground paddling hard. Despite this, some excellent defensive work forced a turnover against the run of play and Elliot Purvis got over in the corner.

However, quickly it was backs against the walls. A lack of ball coupled with some cheap penalties gave Luton territory to force themselves over and onto the scoreboard. When they visited the 22 again, the referee deemed James Lo to have done something wrong and sent him to the bin. The situation called for calm heads. The Hammers looked to their captain to set the tone. Josh McClean responded by getting himself a yellow card. Thanks skip. 13 men on their own line held out two 5m scrums before Luton broke through.

At this stage the Hammers focused on closing the game out. Luton were looking to play more expansively and from their own 22 found an overlap to send their winger into the corner. Squeeky bum time. Coach Mark was readying his inner Alex Ferguson regardless of how it went from here. The Hammers secured possessed in Luton’s 22 and looked to look after the pill, despite the best efforts of the newly-single Sam White who thought now was the time for loopy tip-ons. Penalty secured. 2.5 minutes to go. Posts indicated. Missed. Ball regathered. Penalty secured. 1 minute to go. Posts indicated. Final whistle blown before kick taken (which is definitely not a thing). Bonus point win but it didn’t much feel like it.

The boys returned to the comfort of the sheds for their hairdryers and an evening of super fives. We go again next week.

Hammers 2s vs Belsize 2s

The Hammersmith and Fulham 2’s welcomed Belsize 2’s to the fortress that was Hurlingham Park for what was a top-of-the-table clash and in which no home team this season had been beaten on a cold wet british day.

The Hammer boys got out the blocks quite early and made good territory into the Belsize half retaining possession and working the phrases but were met with a solid well drilled defensive line and due to the weather conditions and line speed balls started being dropped which meant it was going to be a forward driven game with good old scrum to reset. The Hammers scrum had Belsize walking back to the changing rooms and with that we opted to kick to the corner for a line out.

Having managed to secure the ball we let’s the back try to punch holes and find a way through before a knock on and losing the ball. Belsize opted to clear there lines which then started a game of Ariel ping pong before the ball eventually found touch. Hammers started working the phrases again and got to Belsize 10m line before winning a penalty in which a certain Frenchman stepped up to slot home to take a deserved 3-0 lead.

After the restart Belsize pressures the hammers attack hard resulting in a turnover ball and worked a man over lap to score in the corner, with the conversion missed and the ref deciding that was enough for the half. Half time score 3-5 Belsize.

The Hammers cam out second half with all guns blazing knowing that they were still well in the game and it was there for the taking against top of the table however things just didn’t click for the hammers with Belsize putting a good few phrases together before going over in the corner for there second try and the Belsize kicker stepping up to the plate to slot home a beautiful kick 3-12, with only 10 minutes left to play the hammer boys put a good couple of phrases together and made some good ground before letting our winger loose who ran round the outside of there winger and under the post for then a great kick from the 9 to convert and bring the score to 10-12 with only 3 minutes left the boys fancied a last minute winner next job was to secure the ball and reset and win a penalty anywhere inside there half however we lost the kick off and Belsize parked the bus and Hammer boys couldn’t do anything else.

Final Score 10-12

3rd XV vs Belsize Park

The 3rd XV travelled to a cold, wet and windy Regents Park on the first weekend of November to take on Belsize Park, a club which recalling victories in recent memory has proven hard for a host of Hammers sides.

However, having gone five from five so far in the league, the boys welcomed the prospect of looking to extend their undefeated run against a formidable opposition.

The pre-game chat from Steve “I thought he’d stepped down as Captain?” Harris (15) about how the game was going to be a physical arm wrestle proved telling. The wet ball and muddy surface saw Belsize trying to outmuscle their physically smaller opposition through their forward pack both at set-piece and around the park. However, despite the size difference, the Hammers refused to be intimidated and the beginning of what would become one of the best defensive performances was sparked into life by a colossal hit on the Belsize number 8 by Nick “Tweed is my favourite colour” Dunn (2).

With Belsize unable to break the red, blue and white wall that faced them they were forced to kicking possession to the Hammers backs who, led by Marshall “Tennents is the nectar of the gods” MacLeod (10) at fly-half, caused problems with ball in hand all day.

With 15 minutes played the match was scoreless, but despite Hammers set-piece being under pressure, the boys felt they had the upper hand and knew a mistake from Belsize was coming. Two minutes later, after the Belsize forwards managed to carry into Hammers territory, great defensive line speed saw the Belsize park fly-half forced a telegraphed miss pass which Tyler “proving all Aussie’s are not as bad a Rylance” Stacey (13) gladly took and sprinted the length of the pitch to score. Harris converted making it 0 – 7 to Hammers after 20mins.

Five minutes later Hammers were over the line again thanks to two cheeky piece of play from Nick “no fighting on tour” Emmet (9), firstly calling for, and receiving, an off-load from the Belsize scum-half as he ran into contact, then proceeding to run around the ruck and then dummy and fend off the Belsize full back, who he met on his recent tour to Japan, to run giggling out-loud, over the line. Harris converted making it 0-14 to Hammers after 25mins.

Belsize didn’t take kindly to this score and showed why they have been a thorn to recent Hammers sides, upping their accuracy and physicality, moving possession deep into the Hammers 22.

For the next 10 minutes Belsize threw everything at Hammers, but the defence refused to buckle. Every man in a red jersey refused to concede yards, with front row Jack “you missed a spot” Williams (1) and Dougy “Aye, Tennents is the nectar of the gods” Maxwell (3) leading from the front alongside Simon “L for left, R for right” Irwin (6) and James “love an off-load” Lalor (8). However, with less the last play of the half Hammers unfortunately switched off for a split second and that was all Belsize’s skipper needed to hit a soft shoulder and score.

Half time score 7-14 to Hammers.

The chat at half-time was clear, the defence had been brilliant but Hammers should not think that this alone would be enough to secure the victory. Knowing the threat that a resurgent Belsize Park could pose the team agreed to the target of scoring the first points of the second half and to try hold onto the ball as much as possible in attack.

With this clear in their mind the second half got under way but the conditions tried their best to ruin the game. As the wind and rain got worse more mistakes from both sides crept into the game and it became more stop/start.  Twenty minutes went past with no side scoring points, however with the scrum and line-out now being competitive from Hammers, and strong carriers still being offered by Tom “Sit down!” Mohan (5) and Hammers created chances but that final pass eluded what could have been a nerve settling score.

With the bench emptied and Dave “Benjamin button” Buchanan (20) now marshalling the forwards from scrum half, Hammers tightened up their accuracy and increased the tempo. Unable to live with the increased speed of ball, Belsize gave away a penalty bang in front of the sticks, just outside their 22 which Steve Harris signalled from the bench should be taken. However, with no recognised kicker on the pitch Marko “25mins late is early for him” Ravic (18) boldly stood forward and, saw his ugly looking kick just make it over the crossbar to make the score 7-17 to Hammers with 10 mins left to play.

Knowing they had to score twice Belsize threw everything at Hammers but, as had been the case for most of the game, couldn’t break down the resolute defence, epitomised by Sean “house party at mine” Burke (16) shooting out of the line and tackling the Belsize first receiver man and ball to kill what would have been a 4-on-2 overlap.

Full time 7 – 17 to Hammers, the boys’ sixth consecutive victory!

Next week it’s the turn of long-time rivals Ruislip to try and ruin the party, but a rare victory against Belsize will go a long way in boosting confidence.

Tries:

Stacey

Emmet

Con:

Harris x2

Pen:

Ravic x1

MOM: Dougy Maxwell – full 80mins, scrum improved throughout the game and led by example in ‘body on the line’ defence.

DOD: Nick Emmet – for ‘fighting’ with the Belsize full-back, who he skinned in this game, the night before the World Cup final in a bar in Tokyo.

 

 

Road Closures affecting Hurlingham Park on Sunday

For those people planning to come to Hurlingham Park on Sunday, please note that there may be significant disruption and road closures due to the Adidas City Run. Please allow additional time for your journey.

Full details here (click icon to download pdf)

Wasps Amateurs 2s vs Hammersmith and Fulham IVs.

Someone’s ‘0’ has got to go. Fortunately for the boys in red it wasn’t us, as the team remains unbeaten, after a well-deserved 13-5 victory.

The boys arrived at the Wasps’ ground to the sight of the opposition already warming up, and with their 1s not having a game it looked as if a few ringers had been roped in.

The first half was dominated by resolute defence from both sides, Wasps taking the lead 5-0 at half time. This could have been so different if self-proclaimed ‘heart beat’ of the team – James Mitchell – wasn’t deemed to have thrown a forward pass to Dan Serfontein. The referee was 30 metres behind the play but due to many of their players screaming at him he blew up.

Half time proved to be the turning point as the Red Wall stayed strong, typified by Paul and Jamie in the centres tackling anything in a black shirt, and a monumental performance from radio Dj Scott Mills all around the park.

After some good phase play sucked in defenders, Draper snuck over the white line in the corner. Draper showing he can sniff a try out on a regular basis.

Stephen and Harry continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, Wasps were strangled out the game from then on in…this was until after 5 minutes on the pitch I decided to inform the referee of an offside player stood where our 10 should have been, thus resulting in a yellow card (for back-chat) and a lovely free pint as Dick of the Day. Regardless of this the 14 lads on the pitch dug in, and repelled phase after phase from the Wasps in our 22, grinding out the win.

MoM – Scott Mills

MoM – Paul Davies

DoD – Jack Mitchell

Hammers rock Hemel 

First let’s take a moment of silence for our fallen protectors and remember that it is only for those fallen that both teams were able to pull on the jerseys they hold so dear.

The weather was apt for such a weekend of remembrance with the rain falling and a freezing mist descending on the ground defended by the men from Camelot. This was going to be an attritional one and even the beautifully assembled back line had to don studs over a centimetre.

The warm up came and went with little to note but with excuses made early about the dramatic shortening of reproductive organs we came together. We, as one, headed back to the split changing room piggies to the left to talk about pushing and backs to the right all gathered round a single pocket mirror J Lo had “found” in his flight bag – the Hammers were ready.

The rain fell harder as the, recently single, Hatton’s kick off went high into the Hampshire air – but who collected? None other than our very own Taylor Williams who’s salmon-like jump saw him reclaim what was rightfully ours.

The first 10 minutes were industrial with both teams digging in and making the most of every mm they had on their feet. After numerous phases of sideways action our very own Mitchell ‘Mitch’ Mitchellson puts a delicately weighted ball into the corner the Hammers boys are happy with the gain (some wingers even applauded) but Coach Mark is not and MMM is left on the end another wild accusation of his sobriety nicely round led off with F****** I****.

We defended, they defended, the next 10 minutes passed with little to write home about but it was 0-0 and that’s all that mattered until 21 minutes struck and some sloppy defending from their big boys allowed MMM to put our crash ball centre (the big JC) straight through on a switchy switcheroo. The boys in red white and blue were ahead and could smell blood – the kick was missed but an excuse was ready before it had left the tee… something about being recently single.

4 minutes later and having moved to a new technique of the elongated Gary Owen comes from the recently single Ben Hatton… Hammers are awarded a penalty for yet another offside in defence – this time there’s no mistake the conversion is slotted by the ball and chain lacking Hatton. 0-8 and the boys are purring.

The next kick off wasn’t a good one for the boys in red as it skimmed from puddle to puddle untouched and out for a Hammersmith lineout 20 metres out. Fortunately this was one of the few we managed to gather from the grey skies of Herts and yards were made. A cheeky dink was followed by a delicious toe forward and Taylor dived on the ball around the 22 and as Rhona Martin’s “Stone of Destiny” from the 2002 Winter Olympics he aquaplanes his way across the 10, 5 and finally try line dotting the ball down next to the sticks – a phenomenal try proving to all those watching at home that you should never give up on a dream. 0-15.

For the next few minutes The Hammersmith boys returned to the aerial bombardment that had served them so well. A cannon was launched towards the Hemel number 11, he gathered, the Hammersmith chase was fantastic, he panicked, ran sideways and launched a delightfully loopy pass straight in to the arms of the man we call J Lo. Straight under the sticks, conversion added 0-22.

Sadly the resulting kickOff is fumbled by mr Taylor willy who’s heroics from Salt Lake City 2002 could not matched – Hammersmith defended heroically but a slip/missed tackle (potato/potatoe) on their lively 10 allowed him to sear towards our line putting their portly winger in for an easy 5 pointer. The kick was missed and we, these Hammersmith men huddled, still in control, to discuss the 40 minutes that would lead them to their destiny.

5-22 half time.

Wow – it didn’t take long the Hammers boys come out flying and ready to avenge the gift they’ve just given. Those beautifully sweaty, steamy forwards are at it again… trundling towards the line in one of those pushy maully ruck things. As the battle hardened Chamillionaire would say – they see me rollin’ and someone touched down. A sight to behold and looking more and more inviting for those that had at this point lost use of their extremities. The kick was slotted – 5-29.

Our game changers started to make their way onto the thoroughly furrowed turf, big carries followed and we were back where we belonged. A pick and goooo from Jordan on their line resulted in a characteristically hilarious knock on over the line – the crowd sighs. But the scrimmage is strong and we win a penalty against the head. Its scrum time again it’s a big old heave ho steam erupts as the 8 Hammersmith big boys clash with their opposite man and like the bison on the plains of Africa they force their challengers back towards their own line. A penalty try!!! WOW – were ticking over nicely and sit at 5 – 36. Domination at its finest.

We dominate the kick off carrying hard and find ourselves parked about 15m out with a scrum – Joe (now moved back to his rightful role as puppeteer) called a Kiwi, Tonga, Lightyear an unknown move to most of the backline but our back gamechanger the Scottish adonis, Ross, catches the resulting pass and with a delay Southern Trains would be proud of put the recently single Hatton through with 1 man to beat… he winds up the pass and, not knowing his own strength, launched it over Watford and back to Hurlingham Park (a good 30 miles for the statisticians amongst us and a new Guinness World Record).

I don’t know what happened from this passage of play but their lineout malfunctions (not for the first time for either team) and they try and play out from their own try line but… theyre caught… by none other than Steve John (the man, the myth, the destroyer) who folds their 8 like a heavily used Brighton deck chair.

I’m so cold by this point that only calls for delicious orangey spreads can keep me warm but sadly the cross field never comes… next their 10 has an absolute shocker… the rain soaked ball goes through his hands hits his head, chest and eventually calf and he dinks the balls onto the on rushing and recently single Hatton who makes no mistake and canters toward the line… the game is won and euphoria erupts from the soaked Hammers congregation. 5 – 41.

Its crunch time… 36 points ahead, 36 minutes played and a shout comes for one last push… Mitch Mitchell Mitchellson hears something different. Another lineout malfunctions they turn it over and charge for our line… heroic defending here, the boys want to nil this bunch of low lifes… an unknown Hammersmith player melts yet another of these Hemel Hampsters and he spills it… “scrum” calls the ref… Mitch Mitchell Mitchelovic hears something different… we claim the ball and as one we are ready to wear down the clock which we all know (minus MMM) has 2 minutes to go… it comes to the back of the scrum.. composure is needed at such a delicate point… MMM picks it up 5metres from our heavily defended line… and WHAT!!! He kicks it away, dead, fully dead… he runs to celebrate what he thinks was one of his better kicks of the day… only to be reminded that we still have 90seconds to go… confusion ensues but we’re still united and ready to win for the badge and everyone watching back home.

Our dominant scrum destroys theirs and that’s it… the game is through… we’re cold but we’re winners and winners are grinners.

5 – 41. Well done.

Apologies for anything missed and not knowing the intricacies of the forward stuff… I’m still thawing out and never intend to learn the latter.