Hackney make winning start to new year by crushing Grasshoppers
PUBLISHED: 16:45 13 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:45 13 January 2016
Hackney returned from the Christmas break to consolidate third place in London North-West Division Three by running in six tries to record a comfortable 45-12 victory over Grasshoppers.
Sean Conner helped himself to a brace, while Sam Wilkinson, Matia Navunisinu, Alex O’Hara and Will Bowers all went over the whitewash in a game Hackney dominated from start to finish at Spring Hill.
Hackney travel to face St Albans on Saturday and the bonus point win maintains the side’s four-point cushion on Datchworth in fourth, with Belsize Park and London Nigerian set to battle it out for the title.
Captain Bowers led from the front with the game’s opening try and Grasshoppers’ indiscipline was fully exposed by a fully-functioning lineout, leading to a spate of penalties that were converted by the boot of O’Hara.
The west London opponents were wounded by a yellow card and further penalties, allowing Hackney to turn on the style before half-time, with further tries from O’Hara and Sean Conner – the second after superb handling from Matt Strong and PJ Lloyd – to open up a 27-0 lead.
Having scored one of the best team tries of the season, Hackney took their foot off the gas at the start of the second period, with the visitors managing to score two tries themselves, but the Griffins gradually regained their territorial advantage.
The kicking of Strong was instrumental in swinging the balance back in Hackney’s favour, and Navunisinu’s smart finish following a back line move ended any hopes of a Grasshoppers comeback.
Wilkinson’s fourth try of the season was handed to him on a plate after the beaten visitors lost possession inside their own 22, before Conner wrapped up proceedings with some smart dribbling skills – after Rich Frost’s clever grubber kick – for his second score.