Hackney’s second-half fightback secures win over Grasshoppers
- Credit: Archant
Hackney continued their fine start to the season with a 15-14 win away to Grasshoppers.
The Griffins were much-changed from their opening day victory over Stevenage but, despite a slow start, second-half tries from Alex O’Hara and debutant Patch Thompson ensured back-to-back wins.
That seemed a distant possibility after just 20 minutes, as the hosts capitalised on a sluggish opening from Will Bowers’ side.
Two penalties and a try put the home side 11-3 to the good, as Hackney struggled to curb poor discipline and decision-making in the early skirmishes.
The half-time deficit would have been far greater but for some dogged defending – but Hackney will take huge confidence from their second 40 minutes.
Fitness proved decisive, as did the set piece, as they dominated the line-out and scrum, led by the heroic and long-suffering Sam Alderson.
In the space of 10 minutes, Hackney turned the game on its head – O’Hara first capitalising on some determined pack work, before Thompson showed a fine combination of strength and speed to score a decisive try on his debut.
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Grasshoppers clawed their way back to within a point and then pressed hard for the win, but Hackney held firm.
The Griffins will aim to harness the achievement of going to one of their historic title rivals and coming away with a hard-fought victory, and captain Bowers told the Gazette: “It’s a big result for us.
“Grasshoppers are a very good, physical team that is well funded, so this will do wonders for the group. I thought PJ Lloyd at outside centre and scrum-half Sam Wilkinson put in huge performances.”