Hat-trick hero Hopcroft leads the way as Tabard put Grasshoppers to the sword

PUBLISHED: 09:39 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:53 06 May 2010

Tabard full-back Joe Cunningham is tackled during Saturday’s win over Grasshoppers. Photo by Krishan Bhungar. KKB_5205.

Tabard full-back Joe Cunningham is tackled during Saturday's win over Grasshoppers. Photo by Krishan Bhungar. KKB_5205.

London Two North West Tabard 56 Grasshoppers 13 NEIL Hopcroft scored three classic wingers tries on Saturday as Tabard eventually ran in nine tries against Grasshoppers, to notch up a 56-13 victory. Tabard opened the scoring in the fourth minute when scr

London Two North West

Tabard 56 Grasshoppers 13

NEIL Hopcroft scored three classic wingers' tries on Saturday as Tabard eventually ran in nine tries against Grasshoppers, to notch up a 56-13 victory.

Tabard opened the scoring in the fourth minute when scrum-half Andy Murphy forced his way over the line following a turn over at the line out which had followed a good break by centre Gerald Arasa.

The game then settled down with Tabard's forwards on top in the set scrums which eventually proved the undoing of Grasshoppers in the second half but at first the visitors proved cohesive in attack and, although the Tabard defence was impeccable, Grasshoppers converted a penalty kicked by their stand-off Daniels.

Tabard then got their second try and Hopcroft's first. This was a well executed try involving Hopcroft, No.8 Scott Stoba, Murphy and full-back Joe Cunningham in an interpassing move started and finished by Hopcroft. Stand-off Jack Reilly added the conversion.

Then followed Hopcroft's second try, which really was in the classic mould.

Taking the ball on the Grasshopper's 10 metre line he looked to go inside and then beat his opposite number on the outside to run in the try in the corner which Reilly converted.

Grasshoppers were not giving up easily, however, and another penalty from Daniels and a try from their flanker Fielding, which Daniels converted meant that the teams turned round with Tabard six points clear at 19-13.

Tabard were quickly on the board in the second half with a Reilly penalty and then all the good work put in by the Tabard forwards began to pay dividends as Tabard were able to be more expansive and the tries began to mount up.

Cunningham got the next after Stoba picked up at the base of the scrum, linked with Murphy who fed Cunningham coming into the line for the score.

Flanker Ashley Hall then picked up a well taken try when Tabard turned over a ruck and Hall dived over the line.

This was followed by a good try from centre Michael Thomas when he pierced the defence at pace and went over between the posts to give Reilly a simple conversion.

Hopcroft then completed his hat-trick, the ball coming down the line for Hopcroft to score after second row Darren Kidd had made a tremendous break down the opposite touchline. Reilly added the extras.

Wing Matty Roberts then picked up a try when Tabard attacked from the half way line and finally Murphy scored his second after a line out drive to give Tabard a good win by 56 points to 13.

Next week Tabard travel to Chiswick who are currently second in the league table behind Tabard.

Tabard: Cunningham, Roberts, Arasa, Taylor-Davies (Thomas 41), Hopcroft, Reilly, Murphy, B Lake, O'Neill, W Lake (Davey 75), O'Connor, Kidd, Hall, Matheson (Calnan 75), Stoba.

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