https://www.fulhamrugby.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Screen-Shot-2018-07-05-at-14.16.19.png 125 130 mattbaddeley https://www.fulhamrugby.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/logo-cut-out-268x300-268x300.png mattbaddeley2018-10-15 13:35:402018-10-15 13:35:40Hammers 1s v Harpenden - Match Report
A very cold and wet day at Hurlingham Park as Hammers 1st XV took on Harpenden. Both teams have enjoyed strong starts to the season with the hosts unbeaten and keen to exercise some demons from last season’s home game which saw the visitors come away with 20-55 victory.
Harpenden arrived at Hurlingham Park late, but the logistical issues they had didn’t show and they started the much brighter team. With a tight head the size of a small SUV they put the Hammers scrum under a lot of pressure. The conditions weren’t suited to Hammers style of running with ball in hand and so Hammers resorted to kicking for territory, however the kick chase was disjointed and offered the Harpenden back three too much space run into. The scramble defence couldn’t stop Harpenden scoring their first try. Hammers then conceded too many penalties in a row and the situation worsened when the referee marched under the post for a penalty try.
Eventually, when Harpenden’s SUV ran out of gas and was hauled a–shore, the Hammers scrum was able to stabilize and even got the better of Harpenden on a few occasions. The Hammers started to get a grip in the match and go through the phases, Magnus Barber wearing a vintage rugby Jersey from Ed Clark hay–days of the 00’s, was pivotal put in a a big shift with strong carries. This allowed the Hammers to get back in to the match and assert some pressure on the opposition.
With the Harpenden defence keeping the Hammers at bay, Hammers had to come with other ways around it, an ambitious cross field chip from Gary–Barlow–come–Fly–Half–Alex–Warner landed in Huw ‘Big Red’ hands and off he went on a meandering run evading tackles like old Captain Rich Horsley evaded rounds. As he dove for the line, the Harpenden covering tackle figured the only way to stop him was by trying to remove is head. Something the ref with a keen eye on Sunday mornings UFC fight had no issues with.
With the Hammers now camped inside the Harpenden half, they went to work building pressure. Eventually a crack appeared and Hamish ‘little red’ was able to find a gap and coast through to score for Hammers. However Little red turned from hero to villain when he tried to provide a wonder assist by chipping the ball over the top to prop-come- winger Alex Gee, the accuracy was severely lacking and had the local council approved Terry’s visions to build a stadium the ball would have surely ended up in Row Z.
In to the second half Hammers continued to find their gears and started to get put Harpenden under more pressure. With longer periods of possession than the first half, there was a sense that the Hammers had shaken off their slow start and would now begin to take a foot hold in the match. However owing to the bad conditions, Hammers in accuracy and high penalty count cost them dearly and allowed Harpenden off the hook.
James Darrall (failed backrow) was able to stifle Harpenden’s attack with some strong chop tackles in defence which kept Hammers in the game. He continued these displays off the pitch as well, as later that night he was able to chop not one but two larger women.
Another driving maul from Harpenden, allowed club captain Rogan ‘the Bogan’ an opportunity to launch vicious assault fellow team mate Ultan with a swift elbow to the head, in what one can only assume was premeditated attack in response for Ultan posting a photo in the clubs whatsapp group of two club members sharing an intimate moment.
Harpenden scored two further tries in the closing 10 minutes which gave the score line some extra spice in their favour, however in truth it was their strong start to the game and the Hammers poor decision making that won it for them. The final score was 10-36 to the visitors which in the end it was a disappointing result for the host who have ambitions of push towards the summit of the table.
The Hammers 1st XV next game will be a cup match against Southwold, where they will be looking to put their first loss of the season behind them and get back to winning ways.