Hammers 1st XV ladies take the win in front of huge crowd!

In the weeks leading up to this game, we’d been working hard on individual skills and our game day structure as a whole. But we knew that the real order of the day was to up our intensity and bring some real aggression and self belief to this match day squad.

Whilst Hammers ran through their pre game drills, our opposition opted to forgo any prep and stayed inside their changing room for an hour. Perhaps they were cold. But most likely, they sensed an ominous presence approaching Fortress Hurlingham. Yes everyone – turns out the true stuff of nightmares wears a Hammers tie and has a fetching gilet. The Hammers Men had arrived. And they had many, many songs to sing.

To a deafening roar of sideline support, Hammers started the half with the aggression the captains had asked for. The first 15 minutes saw us hold the majority of possession, sticking to the structure and putting faith in Alex W and Chloe Js strong kicking game gave us good territory. The dominance of our set pieces gave us limitless opportunities to set a platform and after drawing Guildford from one side of the pitch to the other, some beautiful simple hands resulted in a cleanly finished try for Sally. A tricky angle denied us the conversion. 5-0 to Hammers.

Keeping up the momentum, it wasn’t long before Ellie HP secured our 2nd try of the day with a strong chief carry over the whitewash. Sirri added the extras to make it 12-0

The next 15 minutes saw a flurry of opportunities created with clever moves from the back line, but a solid Guildford defence held strong and thwarted our efforts. A lack of discipline in the closing minutes of the half resulted in a late try from Guildford’s maul with the half ending 12-5 to Hammers.

Hammers started the 2nd half with determination and after a mere 5 minutes a well executed lineout drive from the pack allowed Kaye to touch down for our third try of the day. 17-5

This was followed by a lengthy period of ill discipline from the Hammers, with multiple penalties allowing Guildford to get ever closer to our line. In an effort to prove there is more to her than just rugby, Tappers tried to show how good she was at unbraiding the oppos hair mid-tackle. Unimpressed with her styling choices, the referee duly showed a yellow card and into the bin of sin she went.

Guildford capitalised on the mismatch and, following some strong maul defence from the Hammers, eventually scored their 2nd try from a quick tap penalty to make it 17-10.

A silly penalty by the Guildford flanker on our 5m gave us the opportunity to clear our lines and refocus our efforts. With structure back in place, the rest of the game played out almost entirely in the oppos half. Sally and Eggers confidently handled the Guildford 10s kicks, dancing through tackles and allowing the forward pod structure to gain the upper hand in attack. Whilst a strong pairing between Ella and Meghan on the right hand side exhausted the defence and gained us metres of territory.

After her casual 10 minute tea break on the sideline, Tappers duly returned and redeemed herself in front of our adoring fans with a superhuman chief carry through the Guildford line, touching down beside the posts. BONUS POINT TRY BABY!! Sirri added the extras and we finished the game 24-10

This result came from all 21 players working together and believing in each other. Yet another hard fought win and our 4th in a row for the 1st XV – let’s keep working hard and finish off 2022 on a high!

Forward of the Match: Ellie Hunt-Pain

Back of the Match: Sally Eardley

Super Sub: Laurel Dunne