Hammers 3s down Hackney

A crisp Saturday morning saw Hammers 3rd XV face Hackney down at Hurlingham park. Hammers were looking to close the gap on New Zealand Kiwis and Hackney were looking for a big win to boost them up the table.

Once the team groundsmen Ben England and Matt Jones had finished filling the pitch with their bucket and spades the boys got underway with the ref trotting out just before kick off after being stuck in traffic for a couple of hours. The hammers started well and played some nice phases up the pitch before Sam Nursey eventually put the ball down after realising he had indeed crashed over the line. The first 10 minutes had been all hammers, but the next 30 were a different story. After some close and gritty defending in our 22 the hammers managed to set up a few nice phases with Adam Crompton finding himself in space on the outside and diving over the line. Both conversions were missed, 10-0. The remainder of the first half was all Hackney, and despite some resilient defending around the rucks, including multiple shots from the Spanish omelette Dan, the pick and goes eventually got too much for the Hammers and Hackney pulled back a try. Despite more Hackney pressure the boys were able to keep Hackney out for the remainder of the half, with some huge hits from Ben England and Luke Kavanagh keeping them at bay. The score was 10-5 at the break.

An inspiring team talk from the captain Jonesy at half time had the boys rallied up for a big second half where we were hoping to seal a much needed bonus point win. The kick off was collected and run deep into the Hackney half from Rob Vaughan and the resulting phases saw Hackney scrambling and eventually the flying Scotsman Dougy Maxwell was able to bulldozer his way over the line for his 8652nd try of his career. The first half had been all Hackney but the second half was a different tale. Some exquisite line out moves orchestrated by Adam Stannard and executed perfectly all day by Nick Kramers set up some lovely phases of play for the hammers in the second half. Spreading the ball wide on multiple occasions and causing real trouble for Hackney out wide. A darting run and score from Dami Sotinwa saw a great move rounded off as well as another score from Adam Crompton. A couple of tries by finding gaps in the middle from Adam Heaps and Ben England saw the Hammers in control.  We finally found a player with his kicking boots on and Sandy was able to slot the kicks for us to sit at 39-5. However, a late miss-kick from the hammers saw Hackney run the ball back at pace and with excellent support and manage to get over the line again making the score 39-10.

A much needed bonus point win to take us within reaching distance of the New Zealand Kiwis who happen to be our next fixture. A resilient Hackney put up a great fight, especially in the first half and we wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season.

After some dazzling runs Sam Nursey was named MOTM and this weeks DOD was Rob Vaughan for stealing playing shirts (naughty).