Hammers 5 v Hackney

A sunny day and cross country commute to Hackney ushered in the start of the new season for the 5s. Plans for an early meet to dust off some of the summer indulgences and remind ourselves of moves were largely scuppered by underestimated travel times and equipment issues but some practice of Rhino ball was squeezed in overseen by coach Silcock.
Hackney certainly came out of the gates quicker and had the us pinned in their 22 for the opening 10 minutes of the game which seemed to come almost as much of a surprise to them as it did us. Some solid defence and discipline managed to keep them out. Scrappy play from both teams in the midfield followed with a first serious foray into the Hackney half leading to a solid team try going through many hands on the counter before a silky offload from resident angry 9 Crog Duffy led to young Jack Mitchell crossing the line and scoring the 5s first try of the season for the third year running (early try scoring promise often overshadowed by a mid-late season drought).
The 5s slowly started to click in to gear as the game progressed with well worked trys coming from Felix Whitechapel (showing his trip to the 7s world cup over the summer had only enhanced his love for a rangey run) and Leon Gillespie powering over the line from 10 after sustained pressure. Hackney put forward a physical challenge but the strain was beginning to show. The 5s looked set to go in to the half three tries up however some confusion under a kick between the back 3 led to a comical try for Hackney to end the half.
Some fresh legs at half time and a reminder that Rhino ball was not the only move in the locker led to a blistering start to the second half with two full team trys coming in short order. The first having Tomos Edwards forget he is a second row and combine a show and go, step and fend to beat half the opposition back line and create some space before switching with Michele Bongiorni to create a try of the season contender. The second a well worked backs move off a set piece leading to pitch inspector Jamie Drysdale going under the posts despite the hard ground. The game became a little scrappy from there with fatigue setting in and a secure result however the backs looked dangerous throughout leading to Paul Davies rolling back the years and bursting through the middle for a first try since the closure of The Larrik. The game was closed out with a further couple of tries and Hackney were kept scoreless thanks to a try saving tackle from Ed Spooner. Points were left on the board through kicker Stephen Danby showing pin point accuracy and hitting the post on 3 occasions which he took with characteristic good humour and grace…. A decent game all round with a dominant set piece (100% line out retention) and the backs looking dangerous but plenty to work on for next week against perennial challengers Belsize Park.
Final score 48-7 a good start to the season with some sore bodies and heads on Sunday morning.
MoM – Tomos Edwards & Michele BongiornI
DoD – Paul Davies (ending try drought)
Trys – Mitchell J, R., Mitchell J, A., BongiornI, Davies, Whitechapel, Drysdale, Gillespie, Edwards