Hammers 2nd XV defeat London Cornish

Hammersmith and Fulham 2’s made the favourably short journey of 7 mins down the A3 to play London (eaten too many) Cornish pasties at the Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields. Blustery and wet conditions made no excuses. Mitch Lewis got the 2s off to a tepid start via a quick change of direction drop-kick off that didn’t even make it 10 unfortunately.

What Cornish lacked in numbers (13 players) they made up for in brute force as the Hammers found themselves pinned in their own half for the first 20-30 mins eventually leading to a maul-driven try by Cornish in the corner. The windy conditions thankfully meant this try went unconverted 5-0, and the Hammers turgid start finally turnaround after playing some actual rugby resulting in a try to 2s debutant Joe Crawley danced his way through two Cornish players before hurdling their prop to dot down, this was duly converted by Ben Dugdale, our terrier-like dogged halfback, with the sides going in at halftime 5-12 to the Hammers.

In the second half, the Hammers numerical advantage and fitness finally started to pay dividends, which were further compounded due to additional injuries to the Cornish team. Starting the match with a front-row that looked like something you’d find in Terry’s Lost-and-Found bin at the clubhouse, a front three of Whittingham, Reuben “Please Don’t Deport Me” Hernandez, and Johnson actually held their own against a former Cornish 1s prop duo who came in at a whopping 120kg and 130kg respectively. They simply looked as though they had eaten the existing 2s front row and taken their places.

Unforced errors, a lack of discipline across the park, and half a dozen knock-ons from the backs in wet and blustery condition were the key issues for 2s which resulted in Cook, Imfeld and Hernandez having to step in as makeshift centres to eventually play through Vaughan for his second try of the day following a good run from Cook through the midfield. Following a short dry spell Mitch pulled off a cross field kick and with a faithful bounce it landed in the hands of Morgan who sensed white line fever whilst being chased down so started to slide in from the 5m line but even he was unsure if he grounded fully.

However, it was Lalor who was simultaneously both the best and worst in the same passage of play after dropping the ball from a kick-off, somehow managed to avoid knocking it on only to then grubber kick the ball 30 yards, pick it up himself and pass to play in our resident Kiwi Bryce “Up the Bok” Morgan for his second try. He was duly advised by his fellow forwards to cut out that razzle-dazzle nonsense moving forward, else he’ll have got dick of the day.

Ed Donovan received Man of The Match after 4 years out of rugby lasted 80mins and Hernandez, despite similar strong efforts on the loose head side, received Dick of the Day (again!) after giving away a penalty due to a high tackle for the second week running, albeit narrowly escaping a yellow card this time due to mitigating factors.

All in all, quite a lot to improve on across the park, but the 2’s remain undefeated and finished out the match as 38-5 winners.