Hammers 3s inspired in local Derby

The heavens opened on southwest London to leave Hurligham Parks looking more like a swamp than a rugby pitch, but this wouldn’t deter the men of Hammersmith. The return fixture against Chiswick 2s awaited what on paper would be a strong Hammers 3s. With the ref’s chat about cold IPAs and the apparent healthy Christmas from some of the hammer backs ringing in the ears, the lads stepped foot onto the field, ready. The rain would not put off either team, and as Matt Jones would say “Lads, it’s F***ing Chiswick, lets go”.

Both teams started slowly with mistakes across the board, presumably due to the abhorred weather that has fallen just moments previously. After a lapse in concentration Chiswick broke through the line to score an unconverted try, leaving the hammers under the posts looking around for inspiration. This prompted some good play to see Hammersmith work hard and camp in the Chiswick half unfortunately coming away with little to show from it. Some lack lustre defence saw Chiswick again cross the whitewash shortly after prompting yet more questions to be asked through the hammer ranks. 0-10 was not pretty reading for the boys in red, but shortly before the half saw Sam Nursey dived over in the corner, after some great forwards driving line outs and some strong running from big aussie Ben, to finally ignite the fire within the hammer’s lads. A conversion from Max Dugdale saw a half time score of 7-10.

The second half saw the Hammersmith contingent invigorated and came out firing, with the set piece looking dominant there was a great platform for the Hammersmith back to launch attack after attack. Finally, this dominance in both attack and defence saw the general in the middle Matt Newman squeeze himself across the try line to put Hammersmith in front for the first time in the game.

The hammers continued to rumble on with a try from Ash Mitchel where the good honesty of Chiswick defenders reversed the initial decision of the referee to eventually award the tries that should have been given in the first place. This gave opportunity for Max Dugdale to step up to the tee and add to his seasons tally with the boot. A commanding position from Hammersmith .

Even with the light fading and the wind beginning to beat down on Hurligham park the Hammersmith boys continued to play a brand of rugby described as joué. Strong carries from the pack and an ascendancy in the scrum really set the tone for a strong finish. With the cavalry on, Chiswick began to tire, leading to another dart down the wing from Nursey to go over for a brace. This time converted by centre and definitely not hooker, Huw Parks. Quick ruck speed continued and flying hands from the outside backs made easy work of breaking down the Chiswick defence, leading to captain Adam Stannard crashing over. Not wanting to be accused of jug avoidance, again Sam Nursey found himself on the end of some neat backs play, where a quick jink inside the fullback put his nerves at rest as he dotted down for his third, Dugdale added the extras. 38-10 with moments to go was a nice position for Hammersmith to be in but alas, Chiswick capitalised on the content of the Hammers win to get a try in the dying seconds.

The match finished up 38-15 and the 3s roll on to Grasshopper next week.

MOTM – James Lalor, somewhat due to his fine break down work and poaching in the line out, but mostly because he just asked really nicely for it.

DOTD– Huw Parks, for being mistaken for a hooker, and butchering Nursey’s opportunity for a 4th try.