Rugby: Hackney draw positives at Luton

Hackney's Ultan Murphy kicks a penalty

Hackney's Ultan Murphy kicks a penalty - Credit: Archant

Hackney fought hard to come away with a 24-24 draw against Luton in their recent London Two North West outing.

They began well, but parity between the two sides at the set-piece meant it took some hard running from Fraser Tait to break the line and open Hackney's account.

The hosts hit back to score out wide, but Hackney felt they had the upper hand and launched a counter-attack through the artful running of Ultan Murphy.

Luton kept applying pressure, though, and scored just before half time from a clever lineout move, as a strong run caught Hackney napping.

The Griffins got themselves back in the game after the restart as James Noble broke the line and offloaded to captain Laurence Mills, who was tackled short of the line but saw the ball recycled to Ludo Bathgate to score.

But Luton's strong front row put pressure on the visitors and an infringement at the breakdown allowed them to kick a penalty.

Matthew Strong produced a strong run in reply to established good field position, breaking tackles and setting up a chance for Murphy to reply with a penalty of his own.

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But Luton scored with minutes to go after more dominance at the scrum and good running from their back three and then had an attacking scrum on Hackney's five-metre line.

Jed Hunter came on to steady the ship as the visiting defence held firm to ensure another share of the spoils on the road, after a simliar result at Welwyn.

Hackney: Adam Eagle, Adam Murphy, Guy Watmore, Rich Mills, Yinka Busari, Filipe Gouveia, Ludo Bathgate; Jed Hunter, Laurence Mills (c), James Noble, Edward Penn, James Legg, Tim Hansen, Matt Strong, Frasier Tait; Paddy Reilly-O'Donnell, Ben Sudell, Ultan Murphy.

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