Hammers ease past Chichester
4th played 5th on a clear autumn day at Hurlingham Park, Hammers were looking to make it 4 wins in a row and maintain their unbeaten run at home. Chichester had won 4 of their opening 6 games making it a crucial clash for both sides.
Hammers were out of the blocks quickly, dominating the early exchanges and pinning Chichester in their 22. This early pressure led Pete Morris to break through the Chichester line and score under the posts. The extras were added to make it 7-0 to the hosts.
Chichester managed to gain a foothold in the game using their set piece and big ball carriers. Ill-discipline in the Hammers defence gave an easy shot at goal which Chichester duly converted.
As the game swung back in favour of the hosts, a fantastic flowing move started down the right wing by Tim Russell and finished off by Joe Carolan scoring in the corner. Joe then converted his own try from the touchline to make it 14-3.
After a couple of Chichester penalties, the Hammers were on the attack again. After a few carries from the forwards, tightening up the Chichester defence, Angus Brown pulled an pass out the back of the forward pod to Pete Morris. The ball was then spun wide to James Lo to dive over in the corner. Joe knocked over the conversion from the other touch line to make it 21-9 at the half.
Following the break, the Hammers started the second half in similar fashion to the first. Aggressive line speed in defence lead to a Joe Carolan intercept which he ran in from the halfway. He once again added the extras to make it 28-9.
The following 20 minutes was dominated by Chichester. They pinned the Hammers on their own and applied the pressure. They were met with a stoic defence from the Hammers. A particular mention has to go to Sean McMahon, who’s feud with opposition ankles continued for another week and Zander Stephen for consistently disrupting the opposition lineout.
However, in fairness to Chichester they maintained the pressure throughout this period. Their scrum had become dominant and they capitalised on Hammers mistakes. Ill-discipline once again cost the Hammers and a culmination of penalties lead to James Lo being sent to the sin bin. Despite being a man down, the Hammers defence was resolute and they almost made it through the 10 minutes unscathed. But a chip in behind the hammers defence was gathered by their winger to score. The extras were added to make it 28-16.
With the return to a full complement of players, the Hammers started to regain some possession and territory. Another flowing backs move gave James Lo some space, where he broke a tackle and went over in the corner to put the result beyond any doubt.
In the closing minutes, the Hammers were on the attack again. Breaking through a tiring Chichester line, Hammers ran half the length of the pitch the ball going through multiple pairs of hands before Joe Carolan got his 3rd try of the day. The conversion was missed to make a final score of 38-16.
The win made it 2 years ad 3 months undefeated at Hurlingham park. Next week the Hammers will be looking to make it 5 wins in a row against Battersea Ironsides.
MoM: Sean McMahon | DoD: James Lo