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  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Hammers 3s v Millfield Badgers

    Hammers travelled to Richmond Park on Saturday to start their league challenge against newly promoted Millfield Badgers.

    With the opposition being well known to the squad – having beaten them last year in the MMT Cup – Hammers knew that a physical challenge was lying ahead, but one they were ready to face.

    The game started frantically with the Badgers scrum half taking quick tap penalties to keep the tempo up and force the hammers defensive line to re-adjust. This frenetic pace was not helped by Hammers being unable to get through the phases effectively enough to slow the tempo down to suit the game plan. Only a great defensive shift saw Hammers, including a massive tackle from Corban (7), kept the Badgers from crossing the line despite being camped in their own 22 area for a good 10 minutes.

    With 30 minutes played and the score still 0-0 Badgers kicked towards the corner in open play and forced what was looking like a contestable line out opportunity in the Hammers 22 area. However, a quick line out throw by Thomas Weston-Davies (8) in Hammers own 22 area saw the ball moved to Fly-Half Steve Harris (10) who exploited the space left behind by the Badgers chase kicked ahead.  Under the pressure from winger Nick Barrington-Haynes’ (11) great chase the retreating Badgers full-back kicked the ball into touch 10 metres out and Hammers tails were up.

    Off the resulting line out and phase play Hammers won a penalty in front of the sticks which Steve Harris slotted over to make the score 0-3 to the Hammers.

    The last 10 minutes of the half were played around the half-way line as the Badgers attack play was unable to break the Hammers defence but likewise Hammers were unable to build the phases they needed. However, with less than a minute on the clock Badgers gave away a penalty near the half way line. Knowing it was the last play of the half Steve Harris (10) kicked the ball to within 5 metres of the Badgers try line and a few phases later after the line out was secured saw James Smart (4) picking and going from 2 metres out to score a decisive try. Harris converted to make the half time score 0-10 to Hammers.

    Despite knowing the areas that needed to be improved in the second half, Hammers were unable to stamp their authority down on the game and with 25 minutes to go were reduced to 14 men after scramble defensive pressure. Try as they might to keep the full complement of Badgers out, Hammers just ran out of defenders and Millfield crossed over in the corner to bring the score 5-10 with 15 min to go.

    Back to a full complement, Millfield increased the pressure and through hard running lines managed to get over for a second try. 10-10 with 10 minutes to go.

    Both sides played for the win, but the issues that had stiffened both sides continued and despite a last minute opportunity for Hammers the game finished a 10-10 draw.

    Hammers came away from the game happy with their defensive commitment however were all too aware that ill discipline in attack probably let that result slip away from them. Nevertheless a promising start to the season.

    Tries:     James Smart

    Conv:    Harris x1

    Pen:       Harris x1

    MOM: Corban – tackling machine

    Tin Man: Ollie – Yellow Card

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Hammers 2s v London Cornish – Match Report

    Having opened the season with a convincing win at home over Richmond the weekend before, Hammers were looking to build on that success away to London Cornish. There were a number of changes from the side that played the weekend before including a new captain in Andrew Rogan and in the early exchanges it was evident combinations needed time to gel but the warning signs were there for London Cornish that this could be a long day.

    From kick-off London Cornish didn’t leave their half for the opening 20 minutes due to excellent tactical play by Jack Davies at 10 and superb line speed in defence marshalled by Rob Fox and Ollie Brothwood in the centres. The only thing keeping London Cornish in the in the game was handling errors from the Hammers. Having a fairly large front row London Cornish managed to win their own ball in the scrum but could not manufacture a clean exit from their half. The sustained pressure eventually resulted in a yellow card to London Cornish – Jack Davies opening the scoring with a well struck penalty. From the kick off Hammersmith again made territory gains into the London Cornish half and it was from this pressure that Jack managed to score the first try of the day. Backs and forwards combining to put Jack in the corner with a strong finish in contact.

    With London Cornish struggling to create opportunities out wide they resorted to pick and goes around the fringes in the hope of sucking in our defence. This proved to be futile as our tight 5 did not shy away from the physical stuff and Tom white proving a nuisance at the breakdown meant London Cornish didn’t get any easy metres. Continued discipline and speed off the line kept London Cornish out in the closing stages of the first half enabling Hammer’s to go into half time leading 0-8.

    The second half started in much the same way as the first with London Cornish being pinned in their half. Struggling to win their own ball in the lineout and with the forwards tiring – London Cornish started to fall off tackles. Some lovely hands in the backline enabled Cillian Waldron (second half injury substitution for Ollie Brothwood at 13) to race down the touchline to score in the corner to take Hammer’s up to a lead of 0-13.

    With this the gates started to open and a strong carry from 8th man Billy Rylance up the middle of the pitch enabled man of the match Angus Lean to find some space out wide rounding the fullback to score in the corner. With Jack Davies continuing to pull the strings with his tactical kicking keeping London Cornish pinned in their half, Hammers started to make it count. A great draw and pass by Alex Jouan at fullback put Shaun Curtis into space on the outside beating the cover defence and stepping the fullback to score under the posts. This took Hammer’s to a 0-25 and the result looking a mere formality now.

    A little bit of complacency allowed London Cornish to get onto the scoreboard. A loose pass in the midfield kicked through by London Cornish looked like a certain try if it wasn’t for Rob Fox’s intervention. Earning him the Tin man award for the second week running – Rob decided to stick his leg out and trip the chasing player clearly forgetting which sport he was playing. Rob pleading his innocence “I was just turning around” enabled him to avoid further punishment with only a penalty being conceded taking the score to 3-25.

    Sustained pressure by London Cornish in the Hammers half eventually resulted in a team yellow card to flanker Angus Lean for repeated infringements – with the numbers advantage they managed to

    cross over for a well worked team try taking the score to 10-25. However they would not have the final say in the match.

    With James Watson’s throwing in the lineout being anything but straight during the warm up it was to huge relief of Tom Broadway and Lloyd Beetson that he managed to consistently hit his targets when it counted come kick-off. Hammers dominant lineout eventually led to the final score of the game. A well worked move, shifting the point of contact ended up with Justin Perry using Billy Rylance as a battering ram to power his way over.

    Hammer’s taking the win 30-10 to continue their good start to the season. Overall a solid team performance with everyone putting their bodies on the line and there are very encouraging signs for the rest of the season.

    MOTM: Angus Lean (Strong carries throughout the game and a great individual try)

    Try scorers:

    Jack Davies (1 conversion & 1 Penalty)

    Cillian Waldron

    Angus Lean

    Shaun Curtis

    Justin Perry

    Tin Man: Rob Fox (Accidental Trip)

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Hammers 1s v HAC – Match Report

    Back on the home ground for Hammers, both teams were looking forward to a fast and physical contest, which historically has always been very close. A fine day with a bit of rain the night before, perfect for a quick game of rugby.

    Early pressure with some fast work from the forwards from Hammersmith saw an infringement about 10 meters out from HACs line for offside. Duty was passed over to the fly-half Kiwi Josh who stepped up and slotted the first 3 points from the tee.

    However in true derby fashion, HAC then returned with vigour and the next 10 minutes needed some stout defence from the Hammers. Some quick hands and strong running from HAC led to the flanker running over in the corner, duly converted by their fly-half.

    The next 15 minutes were played end to end, with the bulk of possession being in the middle of the field. Some strong defence and running from both sides, kept players on their toes with no players particularly breaking the line or finishing off. It wasn’t until 5 minutes before half time that after a spell of strong attacking phases were put together, Josh McClean cross for Hammers first converted try.

    HT Hammers 10 – HAC 7

    The second half had much more action that the first, with the left wing for HAC crossing early following quick hands from the backs and a strong line break! This however was not converted taking the score to 10-12.

    Not to be deterred the Hammers bounced back, stringing together a number of wide phases they worked them selves deep into the HAC half. Strong carries from the Hammers forwards created a miss match and numbers on the lefts wing, following some quick foot work and a well timed draw and pass from Hooker Rich Horsley Winger James Lo was put away in the corner. A side line conversion and another penalty from Kiwi Josh put the Hammers out to a 20-12 lead with 13 minutes to play.

    With 10 to go a moment of madness saw debut winger David Bloxsom sent for an early shower after receiving a yellow card for a tip tackle. This was to be a pivotal point in the game with the HAC players “smelling blood” and turning their game on.

    Good conditioning and some excellent support play saw the flood gates open for HAC, with firstly their fly-half running through a gap in the defence and dotting down under the posts. This was converted, followed by their Number 8 who had been a menace all game with runs forcing his way through a pile of Hammers bodies. Two more breakaway tries, one from their fullback and one from their wing which involved a line break and excellent support finished off the scoring, with them both tries converted.

    Two weeks in a row the Hammers squad were guilty of playing 70 minute rugby and letting the opposition run away the game in the final stages. Huge positives can be taken away from the

    140minutes of positive rugby, but a lot of questions need to be answered for the 20minutes that put all the hard work to waste.

    Hammers are to face Belsize Park away next Saturday at Regents Park.

    Hammers 20 – HAC 40

    MOM – Tommy K

    Tin man – David Bloxsom

    Tries – James Lo, Josh McClean

    Kicks – Josh Thomas (2x con, 2x pen

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Hammers 4s v Kilburn – Match Report

    The Hammers 4’s where looking to get the 2017/2018 season started with a win in their opening league game against Kilburn 2’s at fortress Hurlingham.  Hopes were high given intense preseason all the players had put themselves through. A strong pack and quick back line had been picked to play in conditions that were suited to the quick style of rugby that the Hammers 4’s like to play with.

    In the early exchanges, Hammersmith and Fulham were under pressure and after several clearing kicks from the 22 did not clear the lines, Kilburn were on the attack and with a decent chip ahead from their number 10 they were able to retain the ball and cross the line and score an easy five pointer. The fly half popped over the conversion to make in 7-0.

    The Hammers piled on the pressure from the restart and won a penalty just outside the oppositions 22. Stand in fly half John Brierly stepped up to try split the posts for the three points however just pulled the penalty out to the left to keep the score at 7-0. After several failed attempts to cross the oppositions try line and some questionable calls from the ref, the Hammers no. 9 Matt Perry found a gap on the fringe of the ruck like as SAS sniper ending a well worked team try. The conversion was easily slotted bringing the scores level. The pressure continued for the rest of the half and with an unconverted try just before the half Hammersmith and Fulham 4’s were 12-7 up. Game on!

    The second half started in the same fashion as the first. Sloppy errors allowed Kilburn to score an early converted try to make the score 14-12. Not long after that, Kilburn gave away a penalty 48 meters out, John Brierly stood up to take the penalty thinking he was the hammers equivalent of Elliot Daly, however the kick attempt fell just short. Handling errors then cost the hammers another try as a kick through by Kilburn off a miss placed pass was dotted down on the try line by the oppositions winger, with the missed conversion the score moved to 19-12.

    Then came a moment of absolute ‘see it to believe it’ from front row sub Seb Money. After a quick pass from scrum half Will Desprez, Seb charged at the Kilburn steam rolling through the multiple tackles. Quick ball from the base of the ruck left Kilburn scrambling in defence letting Hamish Barker to stroll through at the corner to bring the scores back to 19-17. The Hammers were soon back on the attack and after several penalties on the opposition 5m line from Kilburn, the ref pulled out the yellow to send one of their players to the bin. Sustaining the pressure via forward dominance, Tillbrook eventually barged over to take the score to 22-19 to the Hammers.

    However soon after the restart Kilburn got a penalty which was converted by their eagle eyed 10 who hadn’t missed a kick all day to make the score 22-22. Despite being one man down Kilburn carried on playing the positive rugby they had all day and the Hammers found themselves on the defensive again. With the clock ticking down in the final moments the Kilburn fly half landed a professional-esque drop goal to take the score and result away for the Hammers at 25-22. The match was contested to the last whistle with the hint there may be a late try from hammers with a penalty on the final play however after playing 80 minutes at 100% it was just too much for the Hammers who got held up in contact bring an end to the exciting first game of the season.

    Man of the match went to Kane Hands for playing a superb match, most of it out of position at prop.

    Tin Man went to Seb Money for losing the kicking tee and bringing on a different (broken) one which he had used to clean the pitch of dog poo.

    Teams Debuts: Matthew Perry, Oli Scholes

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Hammers 2s v Richmond – Match Report

    On a glorious Saturday afternoon down at Hurlingham Park, the Hammers were looking to start the season on a high, beating Richmond, who had defeated them in last year’s semi-final. The Hammers, captained by Gary Leith for the first time started the game well, demonstrating some excellent structure and patience in attack. It would be this structure that would allow the Hammers to bounce back from an early try for Richmond against the run of play. Excellent phase play from the forwards saw James Cramp crash over close to the line to score the first try of the season and draw the home side level.

    From the kick off Hammersmith again made territory gains into the Richmond half and it was from this pressure that Cramp scored his second of the day.  Cramp’s excellent interception from a wayward Richmond pass saw him in acres of space, he backed himself for the corner only to then realise perhaps this pace was lacking. Excellent footwork would prove to be his savour, stepping the Richmond full-back with ease and elegance to score his second try of the game and for the Hammers to take the lead.

    Richmond then scored another try against the run of play. With the Hammers looking for their third score of the afternoon camped on the opposition’s 5 metre line a loose pass was intercepted by the Richmond hooker and he managed to run the length of the field to score. The whole Hammers back 3 then became prime candidates for a joint tin man award for not being able to run down a hooker from 80 metres!

    This try give the visitors momentum but it was Hammersmith’s turn to score against the run of play. From a Richmond lineout in the Hammersmith 22 the hosts managed to turnover possession, with the ball shipped out to 12 Keith Rogers he crafted a precise cross field kick pass to full back Huw Bowen to spark a deadly cover attack. The ball then intelligently kicked in behind the covering defence and from a good kick chase the ball was recovered with Rogers finishing off a move he started by scoring in corner.

    Richmond then mounted a sustained attacked but some outstanding scramble defence held the visitors at bay. This defence was led by winger Al Horner who single handily stopped a certain try on his opposite wing with a massive hit. This was one of many huge and crucial tackles made by the man of the match on the day.

    Half time score: 17-10 to the hosts.

    Hammers kicked on and took charge at the start second half again working the forwards phase play well and playing territory when required.  With a change in the weather the rain began to pour down, exceptional organisation and structure lead by Gary Leith and Rob Fox would prove to be the difference. From another dominant lineout drive in the Richmond 22 the forwards then worked through a large number of tighter phases before a good hard line from Keith Rogers broke down the battered Richmond defence to score an excellent team try.

    Hammersmith turned more dominance into points soon after, with one of many ruck turnovers on the day captain Leith created confusion in the Richmond back 3 with an accurate kick in behind, with the ball bouncing it would fall into the grateful hands of prop John Conway and he cantered over from 20 metres out to put the game out of sight for the visitors.

    Richmond scored 2 consolation tries in the last 20 to flatter their total when the Hammers side was unsettled with a number of injuries. This did not take the shine away from an excellent team performance which brought the result it very much deserved.

    Final Score: Hammers 29 Richmond 20.

    MOT: Al Horner for his epic defence!

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: The dangers of a Buffalo!
  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: The season begins!

    Dark days are over Hammers! The regular season is here, starting with full fixtures this weekend! If you still fancy trying out the Hammers there’s still time though! Come down every Tuesday at Hurlingham Park and see what everyone is talking about!

    Training starts on the dot at 7:30. Bring a friend – bring all your friends – and get ready to dust off the cobwebs and throw a ball around!

    Thank God Rugby’s back!

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Jack Fishwick 7s – Match Report

     

    Hammersmith and Fulham 7’s squad returned to the Jack Fishwick 7’s for the second year in a row captained by James Lo.  Looking to improve on our cup quarterfinal run last year, the Hammers always come out strong for what is a great day of fundraising, fun and Rugby in support of Jack Fishwick, a great bloke who suffered a terrible injury playing the game we all love. 

    The squad started the day very well with a convincing win in the opening group game, with a standout try from Magnus Barber running half the length of the field looking more no.14 than 7. The only ‘con’ from the opener was losing Nick Emmett to injury with a dislocated shoulder. The second group game swiftly followed and again it was another strong performance from the squad with Nick Bottino, Jack Hooper, Alex Gee running the tries in during a resurgent second half to secure the second win of the day.

    After taking on board some high quality nutrition of sandwiches and cold pizza the team took on the third and final group game. Unfortunately  it proved a bit too much with the team narrowly losing out and suffering a string of injuries to Jack Hooper and Magnus Barber who had to depart. The day was not over however as Hammersmith and Fulham qualified into the Cup quarters as best runner up being drawn against tournament hosts Wimbledon RFC!

    In what proved to be the highlight game of the day, H&F with a very depleted squad kept the game close and physical with Xavi Bottino, James Cramp and Ultan Bruton leading the hits. Going into the last seconds of the game H&F found themselves down by 3 points, Then off the back of a line-out inside the opposition 22 the ball found its way into the hands of James Cramp who provided a Sonny bill Williams – esque offload into the hard running James who crashed over the line to secure the quarter final and ensure H&F place in the cup semifinal!

    Unfortunately it didn’t turn out not to be the Hammers day as they went down to the King Fishers in the cup semifinal that followed. It proved one game too much for the heavily depleted squad that had already called in favours from fellow Hammers spectators Tom White and ‘The Great Felix Whitechapel’ to help in the quarterfinal.

    A special mention has to go to Alex Gee who not only was one of the standout players of the day but also put in a mighty shift playing for 2 teams throughout the tournament. Once the rugby was over the Hammersmith and Fulham RFC squad demonstrated why we are regarded as the most social club in London and sunk many a tin!

    We’ll be back Wimbledon – we’ll be back.

     

    Full squad: Jack Hooper, James Lo, Ultan Bruton, Harry Clark, Xavi Bottino, Magnus Barber, Tom White, James Cramp, Nick Emmett, Nick Bottino, Felix Whitechappel, Shaun Curtis + many more!

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: The best pub in London!

     

    Our home away from home, McGettigan’s is conveniently located at No. 1 Fulham Broadway. A relatively new addition to the scene in Fulham, McGettigan’s is the perfect place to grab a pint or a feed and watch the best of live sports on one of their 11 HD screens or 2 projector screens. This internationally renowned group has 15 venues worldwide, each bringing the essence of modern Ireland to their destination; from the UAE to Ireland, Singapore, Jakarta and New York.

    McGettigan’s offers great weekly food and drink promotions as well as an array of live music gigs throughout the week. Join us here for post match pint and celebrations, catch all the upcoming rugby internationals live or treat your better half with a Burger and a Pint only £10.00 on a Monday.

    So what are you waiting for? Head to http://www.mcgettigans.com/fulham/ for more details!

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Hello world!

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  • Fulham Rugby: Hammers 4s v Kilburn – Match Report

    The Hammers 4’s where looking to get the 2017/2018 season started with a win in their opening league game against Kilburn 2’s at fortress Hurlingham.  Hopes were high given intense preseason all the players had put themselves through. A strong pack and quick back line had been picked to play in conditions that were suited to the quick style of rugby that the Hammers 4’s like to play with.

    In the early exchanges, Hammersmith and Fulham were under pressure and after several clearing kicks from the 22 did not clear the lines, Kilburn were on the attack and with a decent chip ahead from their number 10 they were able to retain the ball and cross the line and score an easy five pointer. The fly half popped over the conversion to make in 7-0.

    The Hammers piled on the pressure from the restart and won a penalty just outside the oppositions 22. Stand in fly half John Brierly stepped up to try split the posts for the three points however just pulled the penalty out to the left to keep the score at 7-0. After several failed attempts to cross the oppositions try line and some questionable calls from the ref, the Hammers no. 9 Matt Perry found a gap on the fringe of the ruck like as SAS sniper ending a well worked team try. The conversion was easily slotted bringing the scores level. The pressure continued for the rest of the half and with an unconverted try just before the half Hammersmith and Fulham 4’s were 12-7 up. Game on!

    The second half started in the same fashion as the first. Sloppy errors allowed Kilburn to score an early converted try to make the score 14-12. Not long after that, Kilburn gave away a penalty 48 meters out, John Brierly stood up to take the penalty thinking he was the hammers equivalent of Elliot Daly, however the kick attempt fell just short. Handling errors then cost the hammers another try as a kick through by Kilburn off a miss placed pass was dotted down on the try line by the oppositions winger, with the missed conversion the score moved to 19-12.

    Then came a moment of absolute ‘see it to believe it’ from front row sub Seb Money. After a quick pass from scrum half Will Desprez, Seb charged at the Kilburn steam rolling through the multiple tackles. Quick ball from the base of the ruck left Kilburn scrambling in defence letting Hamish Barker to stroll through at the corner to bring the scores back to 19-17. The Hammers were soon back on the attack and after several penalties on the opposition 5m line from Kilburn, the ref pulled out the yellow to send one of their players to the bin. Sustaining the pressure via forward dominance, Tillbrook eventually barged over to take the score to 22-19 to the Hammers.

    However soon after the restart Kilburn got a penalty which was converted by their eagle eyed 10 who hadn’t missed a kick all day to make the score 22-22. Despite being one man down Kilburn carried on playing the positive rugby they had all day and the Hammers found themselves on the defensive again. With the clock ticking down in the final moments the Kilburn fly half landed a professional-esque drop goal to take the score and result away for the Hammers at 25-22. The match was contested to the last whistle with the hint there may be a late try from hammers with a penalty on the final play however after playing 80 minutes at 100% it was just too much for the Hammers who got held up in contact bring an end to the exciting first game of the season.

    Man of the match went to Kane Hands for playing a superb match, most of it out of position at prop.

    Tin Man went to Seb Money for losing the kicking tee and bringing on a different (broken) one which he had used to clean the pitch of dog poo.

    Teams Debuts: Matthew Perry, Oli Scholes

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