Hammers 2s v London Cornish – Match Report

Having opened the season with a convincing win at home over Richmond the weekend before, Hammers were looking to build on that success away to London Cornish. There were a number of changes from the side that played the weekend before including a new captain in Andrew Rogan and in the early exchanges it was evident combinations needed time to gel but the warning signs were there for London Cornish that this could be a long day.

From kick-off London Cornish didn’t leave their half for the opening 20 minutes due to excellent tactical play by Jack Davies at 10 and superb line speed in defence marshalled by Rob Fox and Ollie Brothwood in the centres. The only thing keeping London Cornish in the in the game was handling errors from the Hammers. Having a fairly large front row London Cornish managed to win their own ball in the scrum but could not manufacture a clean exit from their half. The sustained pressure eventually resulted in a yellow card to London Cornish – Jack Davies opening the scoring with a well struck penalty. From the kick off Hammersmith again made territory gains into the London Cornish half and it was from this pressure that Jack managed to score the first try of the day. Backs and forwards combining to put Jack in the corner with a strong finish in contact.

With London Cornish struggling to create opportunities out wide they resorted to pick and goes around the fringes in the hope of sucking in our defence. This proved to be futile as our tight 5 did not shy away from the physical stuff and Tom white proving a nuisance at the breakdown meant London Cornish didn’t get any easy metres. Continued discipline and speed off the line kept London Cornish out in the closing stages of the first half enabling Hammer’s to go into half time leading 0-8.

The second half started in much the same way as the first with London Cornish being pinned in their half. Struggling to win their own ball in the lineout and with the forwards tiring – London Cornish started to fall off tackles. Some lovely hands in the backline enabled Cillian Waldron (second half injury substitution for Ollie Brothwood at 13) to race down the touchline to score in the corner to take Hammer’s up to a lead of 0-13.

With this the gates started to open and a strong carry from 8th man Billy Rylance up the middle of the pitch enabled man of the match Angus Lean to find some space out wide rounding the fullback to score in the corner. With Jack Davies continuing to pull the strings with his tactical kicking keeping London Cornish pinned in their half, Hammers started to make it count. A great draw and pass by Alex Jouan at fullback put Shaun Curtis into space on the outside beating the cover defence and stepping the fullback to score under the posts. This took Hammer’s to a 0-25 and the result looking a mere formality now.

A little bit of complacency allowed London Cornish to get onto the scoreboard. A loose pass in the midfield kicked through by London Cornish looked like a certain try if it wasn’t for Rob Fox’s intervention. Earning him the Tin man award for the second week running – Rob decided to stick his leg out and trip the chasing player clearly forgetting which sport he was playing. Rob pleading his innocence “I was just turning around” enabled him to avoid further punishment with only a penalty being conceded taking the score to 3-25.

Sustained pressure by London Cornish in the Hammers half eventually resulted in a team yellow card to flanker Angus Lean for repeated infringements – with the numbers advantage they managed to

cross over for a well worked team try taking the score to 10-25. However they would not have the final say in the match.

With James Watson’s throwing in the lineout being anything but straight during the warm up it was to huge relief of Tom Broadway and Lloyd Beetson that he managed to consistently hit his targets when it counted come kick-off. Hammers dominant lineout eventually led to the final score of the game. A well worked move, shifting the point of contact ended up with Justin Perry using Billy Rylance as a battering ram to power his way over.

Hammer’s taking the win 30-10 to continue their good start to the season. Overall a solid team performance with everyone putting their bodies on the line and there are very encouraging signs for the rest of the season.

MOTM: Angus Lean (Strong carries throughout the game and a great individual try)

Try scorers:

Jack Davies (1 conversion & 1 Penalty)

Cillian Waldron

Angus Lean

Shaun Curtis

Justin Perry

Tin Man: Rob Fox (Accidental Trip)