Hackney beat Wasps to maintain impressive start to the season

Hackney's Andy Sprague. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hackney's Andy Sprague. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hackney RFC continued their strong start to life in the eighth tier of English rugby with a 20-7 victory over Wasps Amateurs at Hackney Marshes.

Alex Readford and Andy Sprague scored a try apiece as Hackney recorded their third league win of the campaign since gaining promotion to the London North West Division Three.

The club’s home pitch at Spring Hill was deemed unplayable after a week of torrential rain, but Hackney wasted little time in replicating their brand of fast flowing rugby on the Marshes.

As opponents Wasps struggled to string a series of passes together, Hackney’s back three managed the few attacking threats posed in the early exchanges, with good tactical kicking from Sprague helping his side into the ascendancy.

Strong carries by the forwards and a well-functioning maul helped Hackney to gather some momentum, and indiscipline at the breakdown by Wasps gifted the hosts a three-point advantage.

The visitors then had to withstand a period of sustained pressure but, having stopped Matt Strong inches short of the try-line, they were unable to prevent substitute Readford from burrowing through to open up a 10-point lead at the interval.

Both sides struggled to impose themselves early on in the second half but Wasps, inspired by a substitute of their own, wrestled a foothold in the game by bringing the score back to 10-7.

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Hackney’s Andrew Pilkington was sin-binned in the lead-up to the try, as the pendulum appeared to swing in Wasps’ favour.

Hackney dug deep during the 10-minute spell in which their opponents had a numerical advantage and were able to add three points through the boot of Sprague.

Not content with his kicking display, the fly-half then received Alex O’Hara’s off-load to touch down and cap an impressive individual display as Hackney eased to victory ahead of this Saturday’s trip to face Fullerians.

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