Hammers get the double on a strong Hampstead side

The away fixture at Hampstead provided the usual pre-match game of ‘where the f**k are their changing rooms’. Head coach Mark Jackson struggled with the search in particular, walking around the mansions of Hampstead aimlessly following dud directions from his senior players. He wouldn’t have been so late were he not slowed down by many of the residences’ security guards intervening, fearing the tracksuited Irishman was scouting out his next burglary target.

The early drama and reduced warm-up time helped to sharpen Hammersmith & Fulham’s focus, and the clinical warm-up that followed proved to be an early indicator of things to come.

So. First half.

Things didn’t get off to the best of starts, with one or the worst kick-offs in rugby history after Joel Carolan had given it the big “going deep” chat instead dribbling meekly over the 10 metre line –but this was soon forgotten as the Hammers got into attacking gear quickly. A period of early possession and slick handling meant prop Jacob Poulton found himself with ball in hand out wide in a strong attacking position in the opposition half. Recollections of the exact distance from the try line vary widely, but one thing that isn’t up for debate was the efficiency with which he put away his try. Dummy to Will Smith thrown, afterburners on, he ate up the 10-45m quickly to turn in the first try. Alex Hart was quick to point out after the game that he was on hand to finish the effort, if required. Joe Carolan missed the conversion, obviously. 0-5

Overconfident after their initial success, Hammersmith let their opposition back into the game. The Hampstead no 4, who would carrying well all game, found and broke through a gap in the Hammersmith back line before putting his number 13 into space to go under the sticks. 7-5

Momentary blip forgotten, Hammersmith returned to their attacking ways. A few phases of forwards ball followed by a slick out-the-back move put number 13 James Lo onto the ball just inside his own half. Bouncing out of a double tackle, he carved up the remaining Hampstead defenders like a well-cooked Sunday roast and made his way through the bog to the try line – his Friday morning bi’s-and-tri’s gym session really showed as he held off a tackler to go over the white wash. Joe Carolan didn’t add the extras, naturally. 7-10

The following period of Hammersmith attacking dominance in the opposition half brought two penalties within kicking range. As both were right in front of the sticks, Joe Carolan finally got his points tally underway and took his side into the half time break comfortably up. 7-16

Hampstead rallied at the start of the second half, using the downhill slope to their advantage to earn a deserved try through their forward pack. The Hampstead kicker, having swapped tips with Joe C at half time, missed the conversion. 12-16

This proved to be the second half kick-up-the arse Hammersmith needed. A foray up the slope into the opposition half got Hammers within striking distance and their pack, bit between their teeth, did the rest. Big carrying and slick offloading out the tackle from the forwards – Jacob P to Josh McClean, Josh to Lachy – saw the men in red go over at serious pace. Alex Hart was quick to point out after the game that he could easily have pulled off a similar pass, were he not miles away from the action. With only mouldies on, Joe Carolan slipped in his run up and kicked the extra two points. 12-23

The next 10 minutes proved to be a real turning point in the game, where Hammersmith would distance themselves from their opponents and prove to all watching what serious promotion contenders they really are…

Keen to not let the Hammers pull away further, Hampstead rallied hard and mounted a sustained attack in search of a try. Their efforts, however, were to no avail as the Hammers saw off wave after wave of attack, not letting their determined opponents into their 22. Whilst Steve John and Angus Lean stood out in particularly during this passage of play, it was surprisingly veteran prop Andrew Rogan who would get the turn-over that formally ended the Hampstead effort. Asked about this uncharacteristic jackal after the game, Rogan confessed that he had actually stopped for a breather and bent over to tie his shoelaces when play caught up with him and the ball fell into his hands.

It was during this Hampstead period of attack that soon-to-be super sub Cillian Waldron, replacing the soft shouldered inside centre Will Smith (DM me about gym, mate), sustained a knock to the head that would awaken the beast…


After forcing their way into the Hampstead 22 courtesy of some impressive carrying, the Hammersmith pack let the pretty boys do the rest. Scrum half Ross Anderson planted a sweet seed, like a carrot farmer in Spring, into the hands of Waldron who threw a dummy pass to Sam Purvis before crashing over himself for the bonus point try. Carolan added nothing extra, of course. Hampstead picked up a yellow card for repeated defensive infringements in the build-up. 12-28.

A relatively quiet 5 minute period ensued, with nothing coming of a few Hampstead efforts. The only real highlight for the spectators came courtesy of Sam Purvis. Defending one-on-one against the Hampstead winger, he confidently pointed to the space on his inside, inviting him to take the space; the Hampstead winger accepted the invitation, turning Purv inside out in the process. This washing machine motion was probably the main reason Purv’s match shirt was so clean at the end of the game. Fortunately, a Hampstead knock-on spared any further blushes.

Hammersmith then went back on the offensive, backs and forwards combining well under the stewardship of Joe C. The pressure ultimately proved too much for Hampstead, as they went down to 13 men after a second yellow card for a shoulder charge to the head of fullback Taylor Williams. Alex Hart was quick to point out after the game that he could quite easily have been high tackled also.

Playing against only thirteen men and with their opposition tiring, the Hammers turned up the heat, adding a penalty (12-31) and going in search of a fifth try deep in the opposition half. Josh McClean, improvising at scrum half, fed James Lo who basketball passed it to Joe C, who put Cillian Waldron through for his second try of the game. At the time of writing, Cillian had just finished putting the ball down. 12-36

The dying moments of the game saw ever-lively scrum half Ross Anderson try to extend the lead further, running through an enormous gap towards the try line. Unfortunately, his ego was writing cheques his wheels couldn’t cash and he was quickly closed down by their tighthead prop to bring the game to a close. The contest finished 12-36.

All in all, an impressive showing from Hammersmith & Fulham who now have 8 wins from 9 games, keeping the pressure on London Welsh at the top of the table.

All eyes on their next game against Chiswick at Hurlingham Park…

MOM: Josh McClean
Tin Man: Also Josh
Ben Hatton: Still single

Hammersmith and Fulham vs Harlequins Amateurs

A cold crisp winters day as Hammersmith 3s travelled to suburbia to face Harlequins amateurs. Despite the long journey and the cold weather the boys were up for it as the benefits of Dry Jan were clear and meant the numbers of hangovers were at an all-time low. James Lalor got his DoD performance off to a good start with a dislocated finger in the warm up, with the finger clicked back in place, Captain Cook got the boys going with a much needed warm-up.

Hammers were out the blocks quickly with a brutal break from Ed Miller but when he was tackled on the 22 meter line just short but Mike Cook was on hand with a great supporting line to run it in for the final metres with the ball. The boys knew the next task was to secure the ball and exit our 22 but with a few handling errors due to cold hands and a miss match in the backline Harlequins went over for a soft try.  Hammersmith quickly bounced back with a solid forwards try from a catch and drive lineout five meters out the maul was unstoppable and Captain cook was at the back to dot down his easiest try of the game. A line out on the half way line came quickly off the top and a cracking move from the backs involving both wingers with Billy Wickham just being stopped short of the line and Cook again was on hand in support to dive over from the 5. This ensured Cookie managed to seal the  easiest hat-trick the game has ever seen inside 40 minutes ! The Hammers knew this was going to be there game but it didn’t help when James Lalor then nailed down his DoD status by making a low tackle and bouncing off to then throw his arms around the attacker’s head/neck and receive a soft yellow card! The lads managed to hold off conceeding any more try before half time

Half Time 7 – 21

A comfortable half time score and a couple of substitutions meant a bit of disarray let Harlequins get the first score of the second half or so they thought only for there 12 to decide to just keep running forgetting you have to put the ball down before the dead-ball line, an easy let off for the hammers. Hammers started going through the gears and a great break by Jack MacGreogor resulted in and another interesting referee call gave Hammersmith a penalty deep inside their own 22. Then in his own word number 9 Nick Emmett “quick tapped and split through the defence, with just the 15 to beat stood him up with a chahoo goose step and glided past to dot down in the corner.”

Then some cold hands and poor tackling let Harlequins back into the game when their prop looking number 10 danced through our defence to touch down a try the whole team was disappointed about.

The old guard of Steve Harris and Ed Clark rallied the boys and a sharp queen ball by Hammersmith on their own 22 gave Cookie his final try and a try he deserved the most, when he broke through the inital tackle and was free with only the fullback to step, he somehow managed to run the length of the pitch. This was followed by tries from Tom Mohan, Ryan Grey and a 90m intercept try from Shagga to run the length of the pitch on his return to action for months.

Chad Buchner put the final nail in the Harlequins coffin when he got the ball on their 22m line and handed off their Fullback with a choke slam straight out of WWE and sprint to touch down under the posts.

Strong performance all around and a well-deserved win!


Final Score: 59 – 14

MoM: Tom Mohan

DoD: James Lalor

Hammers 1st XV back to their winning ways!

After a disappointing end to 2019 with a narrow defeat to league leaders London Welsh ending an impressive winning streak, the Hammers 1st XV were looking to get back to winning ways to begin the new decade.

The weather gods were kind and the conditions were perfect for the home game playing host to Hackney RFC who had embarrassed the Hammers team in the first game of the season played in the Far East. Retribution was the buzz word of the day and the Hammers boys were certainly ready for dealing it out. With a team comprised of one third Aussies the game was blessed from the start.

The game started with both sides fighting hard between the 22’s but not being able to open the opposition up. Despite the efforts of both forward packs, the backline seemed to still be wiping the mince pie crumbs from their mouths and the scores remained 0-0 for the first 15 minutes.

The first points were looming however and a good attacking set of play saw Hammers on Hackney’s 5m line and after a couple of good pick and go’s Alex Harts outstretched hand landed the ball on the chalk, but apparently this wasn’t enough for the referee who signalled held up. Buoyed by this the Hammers scrum reigned supreme pushing Hackney back 5m and Angus Lean opened the account with a good try off the base of the scrum. Conversion unsuccessful and the score went to 5-0.

This seemed to be the catalyst to end the Christmas Curse and Hammers structures kicked into gear and it was too much for a less drilled Hackney side. Shortly after a well worked forward movement from Hammers gave the backs space out wide and Alex Gee ended his scoring drought and denied the end of season nudie run with a great finish in the left corner. Conversion unsuccessful and the score went to 10-0.

Hammers found their groove and had all the ball for the rest of the half which ended with another fluid movement in the backline putting Taylor Swift over the line to be converted ending the half at 17-0.

The second half began with a spirited fight from Hackney, but the first half had taken its toll and hammers quickly took the upper hand as they surged toward Hackney’s line. A show and a go and a pirouette saw Joe Carolyn through a gap planting the ball firmly under the posts. He added the extras the the bonus point try and the score was 24-0.

Again Hammers commanded all the ball and territory and in the blink of an eye James Lo slid through the defence in mid field and its said by onlookers, whom refuse to believe he passed the ball, that Lo dropped the ball backwards into the supporting arms of Angus Lean who kicked on the after burners and scored squarely under the black dot. An easy conversion saw Hammers commanding a 31-0 lead.
The final 20 minutes will go down in history as Jack Davies entered the field from the subs bench and a hoodoo drifted over the field.  Not more than 5 minutes later Hackney RFC strung some good phases together well and their backline looked ominous out wide. Through the hands it

went until a rogue hand came out of nowhere and a shrill cry of “denied” was heard coming from the mouth of Sam Purvis. Yellow Card number one.

Once again Hackney mounted an attack but Hammers were too good, seeing off 3 driving mauls on their own 5m line. Jack Davies however having not seen any action was hungry to get involved, threw himself life and limb into his first tackle, his fault though being that he was so effective that he was trapped in the ruck stopping a positive forward movement from the opposition. Yellow Card number two.
Jack walked off leaving 13 men to face the Hackney 15 and it didn’t seem it could get any worse. However, the very next phase from the restart Hackney attack outside, inching 1m from Hammers line before Cale Holmes seemed to steal the ball and for a split second the pressure was lifted. This dream was pierced by the shrill of the refs whistle and despite standing bolt upright, Holmes was deemed off his feet. Yellow Card number three.

The Hoodoo had reached it’s maximum point and Hammers were left with 12 men defending 15. Despite the predicament facing his men, coach Mark Jackson remained serenely calm in a situation would have sent any other mortal off the edge and he called his men to dig deep. Despite a gallant effort in defence, Hackney were too good and after executing some simple catch pass were able to put on 2 tries in the following 10 minutes. The final whistle blew and a relieved Hammers team exited the field 31-14 victors solidifying their place at number 2 on the ladder.

Thank you to Hackney RFC for what is always a tough game and it’s onward & upward for the Hammers who take on Hampstead in a top 4 clash next weekend.

Hammers 2s defeated bv a strong London Cornish

With the new year recently ticking over, the 2’s were desperate to put the back end of 2019 behind them and get some early wins under their belt. With some boys still riding the Dry January train, energy levels were at all time high and we were motivated to chalk up a win on home turf.
Unfortunately, Cornish sought a desperately needed win as well.

We kicked off with great intent but soon found ourselves camped inside our own 22 after a couple of soft penalties. Cornish would make use of this field position and go on to score first. Following this try, we received quite possibly the harshest call of the season when the ref said we were a foot offside on the kickoff. Cornish would go on to take a quick tap from half way and finish in the corner. That one hurt. 14-0 Cornish

Sam Nursery continued his Jarryd Hayne ‘09 like form splitting Cornish up the middle on a counter and after finding support Sam would link back up and go on to score under the posts, his 11th in the past 3 games… 19-7 Cornish half time.

Knowing that we still had a shot at winning this game, Hamish Baxter would go on to channel his inner William Wallace and provide a motivating, near tear jerking speech which instilled belief that we could win this battle.

This proved effective after some slick attacking play saw 2’s debutant Ian Downie soon crash over for the 1st of his 2 tries after some brilliant carries and support play by the 15 men on the pitch. Unfortunately, this dominant surge would only last 20 mins in to the 2nd half as we soon slacked off in defence and Cornish made the most of a few holes in our line crossing over under the posts.

A few calls didn’t go our way but in the end we were our own worst enemy. Our effort in Attack couldn’t be questioned but it was ultimately our lack of structure in Defence which proved costly. Full time 31-17 to Cornish

Definitely plenty of wins left in this 2’s team, a full 80minute effort and we will be well on our way.  A tough loss to cop but the show goes on.


MOM: Ian Downie
DOD: Slade Buchner (welcome back)






















Hammers 4th XV vs Old Streets

Yet another trek to North East London saw us take on Old Street for the second time this season. We travelled with a large squad in confident mood having despatched these lads in the home fixture earlier in the season.

Warm up and team run through went well and despite windy conditions the boys were confident of executing the game plan.

We started with a very strong team, from the kick off we carried well with Dixey and Gareth showing willing with ball in hand early doors. Old Street immediately fronted up in defense and looked to counter us at the rucks with their bigger forwards. We expected a hard and physical game from this first play and despite gaining yards, we ended up knocking on just outside their 22. This led to the first scrum which put down a marker, our front row dominated in the tight, forcing the oppo back from the initial hit, they didn’t want to know from then on.

A couple more phases played out before the first score of the game, some fine work from the half backs Dave and Zac before big James Mitchell twisting with power to crash over the try line. A couple more scores followed in quick succession, Mitchell senior with another following a good steal from Reg off a line out,  in addition to a fine run and finish from the evergreen Paul Davies. The backs began to take control, Zac having more and more influence from 10, stepping inside and out to create try’s and notch one brilliant score himself.

Old street did push back and managed to score once before half time but they had no answer to our set piece, ball carrying, and backs dominance. A couple of scores before half time from top scorer Charles Draper took the wind out of their sails and effectively tied things up before the break.

Second half was about closing out the game in a professional manner, and trying to get all 8 subs on with decent game time. Micky Booth stepped inside off the wing to deliver a perfect ball for Mitchell to finalise the hat trick, before then scoring a flair try with pace himself running over half the pitch.

Subs came thick and fast but our dominance continued, despite a much changed scrum and back line. Ollie Stern continued Dan Serfs dominance at the line out, allowing Dave to supply precise passes throughout. Ali Johnston stepped in at tight head to drive the scrum even further back on his front row debut.

A couple more scores followed, one penalty try after good work from the forward pack after a penalty, then Nick Turner taking a kick off and running half the pitch,  through an Old Street winger, oxygen was needed immediately after for the lad.

Old Street did sneak one more back at the end, combination of some tired legs and lack of concentration, we did have the last laugh however as some good work from Mark Paris released Bertram on the right wing who showed a good turn of pace and eye for the sticks. Game over and a cracking first game back in 2020, onwards to Hackney next week to keep the momentum going.


Hammers 3s put in a big performance

A surprisingly nice day brought in the first game of the decade as Hammersmith 3s travelled to Whitton Lions for the quarter final of the Bowl. The game kicked off with everyone still running off their Christmas dinners and hangovers, despite this the Hammers were soon in front though after a grubber through and a strong turnover led to a penalty, which from the resulting lineout the forwards drove over to score. Hammersmith looked fantastic in attack and scored several first half tries, finishing the half with a brilliantly executed backs move to put Hammersmith in a commanding position going into half-time

The good play continued in the second half with more tries following, however Whitton kept working and were rewarded when some slack defending in midfield got them on the scoresheet. Despite this set back Hammersmith showed ruthlessness to go straight up the other end and score. The excellent attack continued and more tries followed including Lachy who broke through several defenders to go over. Rob Vaughn then added one more pretending he was a winger crashing through the line off an inside line from the ten. The score could have been higher but Ollie Rea forgot where the try line was and dropped 5 meters short, making sure to wrap up dick of the day

Final score, Hammersmith 62- 7 Whitton, with one particular winger scoring 5 tries, Overall an excellent way to start the new decade, with lots more come in the coming year for all teams

Hammers fail to take their chances against Welsh

The Hammers went into this game full of confidence, following an unbeaten spree dating back to September. Their opposition, equally assured sitting at the top of the table, albeit by a margin that had become less convincing in recent weeks. Six points yet one position, was all that separated these teams in what was sure to transpire into one of the games of the season. The build-up was equally intense, arising from multiple exchanges on an assortment of Social Media channels. There was only one victor here though with TJ Perenara, Samu Kerevi, Jacob Stockdale and Jonny May’s mother reaching out to show their support for the Hammers on this blustery winter’s day; something Alex Hart’s bean pole figure must have clearly been struggling to cope with, following his 45 minute late arrival to Old Deer Park.

It was the Hammers who got off to the better start, dominating the opening 20 minutes, despite the early loss of Peter Benson – who lasted 5 minutes longer than usual. In spite of this ascendancy Phil Lord’s juggling career was struggling to ignite, much like Ben “Scholesy” Hatton’s love life… dropping the ball close to the line. Not even the magic of Will “Genie” Smith could produce the points, following what the ref deemed a hold up over the whitewash, the score remaining 0 vs 0. It wasn’t until the Hammers number 9 stepped up to slot the first 3 points of the game that the deadlock was finally broken. Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last for long. With the Exiles first, second and only entries into the men in blue’s 22, leading to the only two tries of the opening 40 minutes. The score 12 vs 3.

With some strong words shared at half time the Hammers came flying out the blocks. An accurate dart from Phil Lord, followed by a pin point cross field via Ben “Scholesy” Hatton had the Exiles 14 running around with what can only be described as showing the awareness of a Dodo. This gave chance to the in form Alex Gee, who despite his American-Ready endomorphic body type managed to leap high above his opposite man and over the line. One Shearer style celebration later and the score was 12 vs 8, the Hammers back in the game!

With momentum starting to build in favour of the Hammers, a quick glimpse up at Liv ogling at individuals who you would preferably take home to your parents, was enough to lead Mitch Mitchell Mitchellson IV into a lapse of concentration, as he proceeded to collide with the plague-ridden Sam “Purv” Purvis to bring the ball deep into the Hammers half. This was the beginning of a 20 minute slump for the men in blue, with the Exiles looking to apply pressure. A few strong carries followed by a quick scurry from the 9 led to the 3rd Welsh try of the match… the score now 19 vs 8. Unfortunately, this was followed in quick succession by another, thanks to the Exiles winger, whose dummy left Xander Stephen and Alex “The Bean-Pole” Hart parting faster than the Red Sea.

Over the next quarter the Hammers began to re-establish themselves through strong carries from both members of the Doctor partnership Steve John and Angus Lean, fresh from the set of Embarrassing Bodies. A penalty leading to a line out deep into the Welsh 22 was the opportunity that the men in blue were looking for. A robust catch and drive despite a Phil Lord trip – presumably because his sister forgot to tie his laces, set up the perfect platform for the backs; 3 passes later including one from the subdued James Lo, and Gee was over again in the corner; the score, 26 vs 13. This pressure continued throughout the final ten minutes, with the boys pressing for their third of the match. Perhaps it would have happened if Cillian “Luigi” Waldron’s hands weren’t made of butterscotch – dropping two budding interceptions in the latter stages. A few rucks, a side entry and one Jacob Poulton appeal later and the whistle was blown, final score Welsh 26, Hammers 13.

While the Hammers fell short on this occasion, they can go into their winter break in good spirits knowing that they have the ability to right some wrongs; whilst, appreciating that the strain on their backs will have additional time to recover through the absence of Cillian “Luigi” Waldron and Mitch Mitchell Mitchellson IV throughout the start of the New Year. Merry Christmas!

* For the purpose of this report the roles of James Lo and Alex Gee were reversed for the readers pleasure

Hammers 2nd XV vs Rosslyn Park

It was a dark cold windy Friday night and instead of attending Christmas parties Hammersmith and Fulham got invited by Rosslyn Park to play a floodlit game which the boys couldn’t of been more excited about and to stretch their legs underneath the light with a crowd watching. 

Hammers were looking to bounce back from a couple of defeats and looking to reclaim challenge top spot, with a squad brimming with talent and both head coach Mark and assistant coach Nugget in attendance it was a night we didn’t want to let them down. 

H&F started kicked off and had an intent from the off with a big hit on the catcher, it was only a manner of time before hammers secured turnover ball and decided to work the forward up the pitch and before releasing the backs with Tyler running a steamer of a line slicing through Rosslyn Park and combining well with the full back Taylor to score a beautiful opener and the boys started to have a good feeling only for us to muck up the restart giving Rosslyn Park an immediate platform to launch an attack through and sure enough after a couple of phrase they were over in the corner, boys kept there heads up and looking to make amends for the error huge chase from the kick off saw Rosslyn Park pinned down in there half and looking to exit via a box kick which was charged down by Gerard only for him to gather and gentle stroll in under the post to regain the lead. 

After the last kick off we needed to nail this one and exit however a miscommunication lead to two lads running into each other giving away possession and another platform for Rosslyn to attack and Hammers to defend. The hammers d held firm putting in big hits before a scrum on the 5 in which they peeled off and scored from going into half time at 14-14 it was everything to play to in the second half. 

Again the hammer came firing out the block at the second half with lovely phrase play and gaining territory having won a penalty we opted to kick to the corner bold call when your 14-14 but captain cook called it. Louis got the distance with a beautiful nudge into there 22 and then it was down to the forwards to work there magic with a catch and drive line out split Rosslyn Park pack and big Henry went over. 14-21 now. However we started to struggle with the scrums twisting and turning the ref opted for advantage them on this occasion and a quick tap and out wide they went and round us for another sloppy soft try and then boys turned up the heat and Taylor re gathered the kickoff and set the platform for another attack bosses around by Marshall he found the magic ball that allowed Tyler to offer the switch with Taylor for another try and hammer heads were high again and wanting to close this game out. However there were going to be a few more twist and turns before that full time whilst. 

One of them being for locky who made the biggest hit in the game absolute monster of a hit took him up and bought him down in a safe manner however the ref saw different and had to walk for 10 mins huge loss but not the mans fault. Pinned in our 22 and with a huge scrum mr Ralph came onto the flank to support the scrum however props came up and reset and with the scrum and breakdown messy and a penalty give Marshall piped up and the wrong moment and also had to take a breather for 10 mins and wouldn’t be returning. Rosslyn opted for the scrum and with the front rows going up again and then going slightly forward the ref had had enough and walked under the posts and a penalty try was awarded gutted hammers were like let’s go back at them but with only 13 men it was gunna take something special and with Rosslyn Park tails waging in a game we should have sealed off. 

With only 3 mins left on the clock a silly pen allowed Rosslyn to have a line out on our 22 in which they secured and crashed through the centres with the addition players making a difference to score 36-28 the restart secured by Rosslyn and then a scrum with only  seconds left on the clock scrum they held out and cleared the ball into touch to win. A disappointing result but a great game of rugby under the floodlights. We bounce back next week. 

Hammers 4s vs Hackey

On yet another trip to the other side of the country to play Hackney away, the 4s were on a bit of a downer following the long trek east.

Bolstered by a good squad and a dominant previous week  victory over Ickenham, the boys were confident at kick off. Game started at a fast pace with our lads probing for turn overs from the off, despite some suspect reffing the boys managed to get the ball back swiftly. First period of possession resulting in a strong forwards try following some big ball carries up the middle, big Phil Lord crossing the whitewash. The second try followed soon after, a brilliant team try that passed through 10 hands and ended up with Tom Dixey smashing over from close range.

With the wind beneath the sails the boys kicked on and scored again showing some silky skills and absolute dominance in the set piece, line out spot on with Nick Haigh jumping brilliantly, scrum going well with Angus and Steve turning balls over against the head. However, following a period of good defence in our 22 the hackney forward pack did manage to scrape a try back, met with jubilation from their packed home crowd. Then came a moment of madness, eager to get back on the front foot, the boys pushed into the Hackney 22, looking threatening every play, unfortunately however, big Phil got a bit lost in the centres and quickly became apparent he was way out of his depth, throwing an interception to their full back who sprinted for the long range try. Game on!

Half time came and went with an air of tension despite us clearly being the better team. Dominance was however soon restored and a number of tries followed swiftly, Marshall and Dave bossing the midfield, James and Dixey the forwards, Jamie the backs. Hackney had no answer to the onslaught and the emptying the bench made it worse form the home side. Great performance all around and well deserved win.

Final Score 58-19

MOM – Dave Buchannan / Phil Lord

DOD – Jamie Drysdale

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.