With the world cup already fading into the memories it was time for rugby fans to focus on the important stuff, the Middlesex merit table premier. With a win and an agonising 1 point loss in the first two round, the newly promoted Hammers 3s we’re looking to put things right against Rosslyn Park.
As expected against a physical side, the match opened with an avalanche of big shots and hard carries as both sides looked to impose themselves on the other. Initially Hammers seemed to get the better of this battering their way down the field until prop Elias Pablo crashed over from close to open the scoring. Fly half Joel Mariner couldn’t quite get the extras, bouncing his conversion off the cross bar, leaving hammers 5-0.
The next minutes saw much of the same with momentum swinging towards Rosslyn Park who found themselves down in the Hammers 22. Strong defense was necessary for several phases before the ball was fumbled and quick thinking centre Guy Woodhouse hacked the ball up the field. Scrum half Jake Cheetham picked up the ball, charging up field, before offloading to winger Will Ridge who dotted down for the score. This time Mariner had no trouble adding the extras. 12-0 Hammers.
As the first half progressed, the opposition showed their strength again scoring two quick fire tries to put the scores all Square in the dying minutes of the half. The Hammers then found themselves with a shot at goal in the last play, with Mariner again slotting to take the men in red in at 15-12 ahead.
The second half was played much like the first with both sides looking to win the arm wrestle. Opportunities came for both sides but it took until the last 15 for Hammers to blink first and find themselves regrouping under the sticks 15-17 down.
Fired up the hammers regathered there own kick and pressed the attack. They pushed well into the 22 before they lost the ball and RP cleared their lines. However, a penalty then gave them a chance for a shot at goal, that could put them ahead. Mariner again stepped up from close to the halfway line but somehow found the woodwork again, bouncing the ball off the upright with a fine effort.
Hammers continued to persue the 3 points that could win them the game, pushing on in the dying minutes. However they were to fall short again with Park scoring in the corner in the last play of the game, adding the extras to snatch away the losing bonus point. A tough result to take from a brave team performance