Sat 6 Jan 2018, 14:00
Tabard 7 Hampstead 89
Tabard welcomed top of the table Hampstead to Cobden Hill in the first game of 2018 and started the game in a competitive manner, despite conceding an early try from the kickoff. Tabard were playing some good rugby and drove in to the Hampstead 22. The referee played advantage after a high tackle and then another after Hampstead were caught offside. A tap penalty was driven on by captain Jack Reilly, then by Harry Gough before Aaron Priscott came close. The ball was recycled out to Olashore who crossed for an excellent try which was well converted by Reilly to bring the scores level after 10 minutes.
Tabard were more than a match for the visitors and playing some good rugby but were unable to add to their score. Hampstead however were a well organised side with power in the forwards and some useful backs. Tabard defended well as Hampstead responded and good defence stopped a try after Hampstead were held up over the line. Reilly won a penalty after determined work at the breakdown but Hampstead were soon on the attack again. A lineout in Tabard’s 22 allowed Hampstead to set up a maul from which the visitors prop crossed for their second try after 25 minutes. Tabard were a little unlucky that they were unable to clear the ball from a scrum in their 22 and Hampstead were in again for their third try.
Tabard set up an attack from the restart and drove in to the Hampstead defence. The ball was lost however and Hampstead fly hacked down the pitch out sprinting the Tabard cover and went over for another try. Hampstead scored again effectively from the restart which was a little unlucky after the busy Priscott had put in a huge tackle but was adjudged to be off side. A quickly taken tap on the halfway allowed Hampstead to score again. A push over at the scrum allowed Hampstead to score their sixth try before half time, taking the score to Tabard 7 – Hampstead 36.
The second half saw Hampstead take complete control and run in another 9 tries. That’s not to say Tabard capitulated. To their credit the Tabard side kept trying, epitomised by a dogged effort by Tabard winger Naughton. In fact Tabard should consider themselves somewhat harshly done by when their best attack of the half was only halted by two penalties in the Hampstead five metre zone. The referee chose not issue any greater sanction and the ball was lost, allowing Hampstead to add to their try tally.
The referee blew for full time with the score Tabard 7 – Hampstead 89.
Team: Van Leon, Hancock, Tilley, Brown, Price, Marcus Bunning, Morgan Bunning, Westaway, George Gough, Reilly, Jenning, Priscott, Olashore, Naughton, Harry Gough.
Walton, O’Connell, Teddy Gough