Griffins bag bonus-point win against Bank
Hackney RFC 34 Bank of England RFC 25
Promotion-seekers Hackney began their Herts/Middlesex 1 season with a bonus-point win on Saturday.
Bank of England broke the deadlock on 15 minutes, after a handling error in the Hackney defence saw the visitors profit from a turnover with the first try.
But Griffins regrouped at the restart and the pack quickly won the ball back – showing their growing dominance at the breakdown in both attack and defence.
In a well-worked move the backs broke through the line for Tam McFayden to cross the whitewash and level the score.
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Having collected the restart, Hackney quickly pressed back to the Bank try line, eager to achieve a lead before the half-time break.
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Following a number of warnings to both sides, the Bank centre received a yellow card for going off his feet at the ruck. And Alex O’Hara profited, as he began his points haul by successfully slotting the subsequent penalty over the posts.
With the opposition briefly down to 14 men, the Hackney forwards jogged back to receive the kick, which Ben Chamberlain collected and promptly made a 50-yard dash through the defence.
A swift passing move followed before Chris Carrol found space to finish off for Hackney’s second try of the match.
Bank were not to be deterred though and attacked with renewed vigour, scoring a penalty and an interception try to reduce the half-time deficit to 17-15.
Griffins made a nightmare start to the second half, as a communication mix up in defence allowed a Bank player to slip through for a soft try.
Just as the match appeared to be slipping away from Hackney’s grasp, the home side upped their effort levels with the back row working harder to secure ball and the tight five began to press at the scrum.
They got their reward when Chamberlain went over in the corner, after a well-worked penalty move orchestrated by O’Hara.
Hackney, determined not to allow Bank a way back into the match, maintained the pressure after their score and were awarded another penalty on the five metres line.
With the pack spread as dummy runners, fly-half O’Hara went by himself, burrowing over for five points.
In the final 15 minutes Chamberlain received a yellow card for an offside tackle and Bank, with a man advantage, duly cranked up the pressure.
But, despite being camped on their own line, the remaining Hackney 14 were determined not to let the visitors cross and conceded just three points while Chamberlain was sin-binned.
The win was finally assured in one of the final moves of the game when winger Charlie Davis touched down.