Hammers 3rd XV go down hard to raiders from north of the border

Two weeks after a disappointing loss against a strong London Scottish side, the 3s were on again at home against the same opposition with a point to prove. As the teams lined up Hammers once again found themselves with the lighter pack but hoped their structure and joué would give them the edge.

It was not to be, with a slick London Scottish side coming hard at the lads from the outside. Confronted by a team that clearly comfortable with each other. stringing together some impressive running rugby in the first half, and the boys found themsleves many points down in the first 20.

Not to be held down, the boys gradually improved.  Imposing themselves physically, Hammers were able to rough them up around the fringes of the ruck, and secured something of a foothold in the game. The – by now notorious – “Palla di Canone” Valerio Marcantognini epitomised this aggression and physicality, terrorising the opposition with his fearsome carries and unapologetic Mediterranean masculinity. He earned himself the man of the match award with his sheer brutality. This physical approach was precisely how the boys scored their first try, when the pack’s repeated heavy carries eventually broke a hole in the defence and Joe Pearce dove over.

Early in the second half the boys pulled back another try when Jake Cheetham sold several defenders a great dummy following an inspired long pass from a mysterious chap called Fergus….

Despite conceding more points in the second half, there was also more joy for the Hammers, as brilliant hands, pace, footwork and offloads eventually saw Mike Cook steam over to finish off a move that started with the opposition kicking into our 22. This was like Australia’s score vs France except significantly more joué.

Despite a few great moments and not saying die until the very final whistle, the boys unable to overtake the considerable lead from Scottish, and the game sadly finished 61-17.

We go again next week, desperate to finish 2022 with a win