Thirteen proves unlucky for Hackney as Harps get back to their try-scoring best
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 November 2017
Harpenden got back to winning ways and back to their free-scoring best as they won 74-8 at Hackney.
If their tactics against Chiswick last week were blown away in the October winds, this week’s fare in the calmer November air was much better.
Captain Oli Lacey had not been impressed by his team’s first defeat of the season and both he and coach Matt Davies had obviously put in a great deal of work to find the solution which undoubtedly they did.
They ran in 13 tries to the one scored by the home side’s James Legg.
No sooner had the whistle blown for the start of the match than Nick Childs ran in a great try.
Five more were to follow in that first-half spell thanks to Tristian Francis, Jimmy Speirs, Lacey and two from Adam Wilkinson.
Ollie Mann converted three of the scores and also managed to score from a penalty in front of the posts as Harpenden turned round at half-time 39-3 ahead, Hackney’s points coming from a successful kick from Afkham.
The second half was similar to the first. After some resistance Harpenden managed to use their pack to gain territory which encouraged their backs to fire on all cylinders.
The presence of scrum-half Mark Evans this week helped them find their rhythm again whilst Mann and Speirs kept their cool throughout leading by example.
Two further tries came from Mann with George Attfield, Ed Preston and Luke Barber also crossing the line.
As a combination Mann and Evans were particularly impressive, with Barber playing his usual steady game, and with the influence of Speirs to the fore, Harpenden’s wingers, Wilkinson and Francis, were well served.
Substitutes Sean Longdon, Jack Pennell and Max Baggio all played a part – the latter scoring his try with a delightful turn of speed.
Mention should also be made in the final analysis that the forwards all played their role in suppressing any opposition.
Preston filling in for a while at number 8 for the injured Michael Goode complemented flankers Attfield and Ryan Gue, whilst Alex Randall had one of his better games.
Harpenden remain top of the table with their next match at home to Belsize Park on Saturday.