Hammersmith and Fulham RFC are celebrating their 40th anniversary so make sure you don’t miss the first anniversary event of the season! Old Hams and current players from both the men’s and ladies sides will be gathering for a lunch at The Rylston, before heading down to Hurlingham Park after lunch to watch the 1st XV take on old rivals Chiswick.
Where:The Rylston Pub, Fulham
When: 25 November 2017
Cost: £25 a head
What’s included: 3 course meal, drink on arrival, wine on the table, port or brandy with cheeseboard
How to book: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with how many places you’d like.
Hammersmith & Fulham 2nds vs. Bishops Stortford 3rds (Mitres) – 07.10.17
On Saturday Hammersmith & Fulham 2s travelled up to Bishops Stortford, a team that had won 1 out of their 2 previous league games. The Hammers needed to get the blood pumping quickly having arrived just 30 minutes before kick-off and having spent over 1.5 hrs on the bus (or an overnight flight for some). Despite this, the Hammers did switch on quickly and had a resilient defence for the first 15 minutes as Bishops Stortford applied strong and persistent pressure by retaining possession and staying in the Hammers’ half. After a few unforced ‘butter-fingers’ handling moments by the Hammers, Bishops Stortford broke through, flooded the gap, and quickly ran a second phase of play which resulted in a try being scored in the corner, 5-0.
Bishops Stortford quickly capitalised on the momentum that their first try had given them with some large units making strong carries and yards being gained around the rucks and in the centres despite an organised Hammers defence. About 20 minutes in Bishops Stortford crossed the line in the centres after a set-piece play and 2 phases, 10-0. The Hammers wanted to hit back badly but were denied possession from the kick off and, the same Bishops Stortford player crossed the line, 17-0.
Despite the Bishops Stortford pack dominating the scrum there were some great pick-ups under pressure by Hammers’ 8, Johnson, and service to the backs by 9, Leith. The Hammers knew it was critical to get points on the board before half time in order to stay in the game. The Hammers pack managed to slow down the pace and won a turn over. Looking to capitalise on this the Hammers built the phases and won a penalty which was kicked into the corner for a lineout to put the Hammers 5m from the Bishops Stortford line. A strongly contested but well-controlled lineout catch and drive by the forwards saw the Hammers cross the line. The try scorer? Jack Hooper – winger! Conversion by Morrow, 22-7. Just before half-time Bishops Stortford managed to cement their lead and hit back before half time after catching the Hammers on the back foot, 27-7.
Hammersmith and Fulham started the second half the better side and set out to play their style of rugby. Hammers’ centres, Bowen & Hall, tested Bishops Stortford’s tackling and managed to make good yards on several occasions with Hall preferring the most direct route – over the top of the tackler and legs pumping. The 8-9-10 link for Fulham worked well and yards were made against the opposition 10 channel as well, as advised by coach Riki at half-time. Around the 60 minute mark the opposition seized upon a 50:50 penalty decision and Bishops Stortford kicked for the corner. Bishops Stortford put on a solid drive from 10m out and a controlled maul turned the penalty decision into points, 32-7. With the opposition looking to close the game out they kicked for territory but the Hammersmith & Fulham back 3 worked together well and countered effectively in more broken play. Bishops Stortford crashed over the line with a pick-and-go after a length of the pitch counter, 37-7.
The Hammers look forward to the rematch against Bishops Stortford later in the season, and also to having significantly less muscle cramp. The bus trip debutants survived, just.
Final Score: 39-7
MOM: Chris Hall – who embodied ‘run it straight bro’
Tin Man: Rogan – SNAFU on the kit front
Perfect rugby weather and the first fun bus of the season saw 17 sterling Hammerettes travel away to OAs for our first meeting of the season. The atmosphere was calm despite lack of numbers, injuries and the task that awaited us.
2.45pm saw us go into battle with Mark’s secret squirrel game plan (read slow the game down at every opportunity in whatever manner to conserve energy). The first 20 minutes was hard fought with big hits and runs coming in from both sides. OAs, keen to win the league this season, tested us again and again. I think they’d hoped it would be an easy match as we had tried to rearrange the fixture due to injury and lack of numbers. However, in true hammers style we proved them wrong. Some great handling from them though saw the first try and conversion of the match. Another 20 minutes of battling saw them score again and be awarded a yellow card for dodgy handling in the rucks, but also gave us what we deserved, our first try and conversion from Michelle just before half time. 14-7.
The second half brought more of the same. OAs had started to panic however as the easy game they had thought would happen did not materialise. They tried to bring on the big gun (international player) but apart from her handoff technique she could not break through our defensive line.
It was quite stop start with the number of (cough) injuries. We really do need a code word so I don’t have a heart attack on the pitch. Again some beautiful handing from OAs brought them their 3rd try of the game. Our heads did not drop and our solid unit prevented them from scoring again and getting a bonus point. Final score 21-7.
I would like to point out here that the forwards were formidable, all the hard training has paid off in beautifully executed mauls and scrum turnovers. I would like to thank them for letting me into the pack in order to conserve my leg, it was a lot of fun!
Forward of the match went to Hannah for her Amazonian runs and big hits consistently throughout the match on a dodgy ankle.
Back of the match went to Sophie T playing at fly half for her defensive work and kicking skills that saw many an OA attack thwarted.
Special pint went to our beautiful Becki who played her last match for the Hammers or so she thinks! She is leaving us to work for her other passion in life. We will miss her greatly but once a Hammer always a Hammer and she will always be welcome.
Special thanks go to Alison for running touch, Aleena on her first Hammers outing for being water girl and assistant Physio, HP for giving up NFL tickets and her battle with SEtrains, Annabel for her versatility in playing forward then back then forward then back, Marion for her 100% commitment to the team despite injury and her hugs, Helene for stepping in and speaking at the end when I was a blubbering mess, Bhomdat and Andy for their consistent support and supply of port, Frenchie for stepping in like a warrior to help with numbers despite her retirement, Arienne and Will, the Collings clan, Annabel’s parents for coming along to support, and as always, Mark for believing in what we are capable of and can achieve.
Sorry about the Oscars speech but a lot goes unnoticed and we would not be the hammers without them. Apologies if I have forgotten anyone. I am so proud of our efforts on the pitch and proud to be part of the hammers team.
Ladies squad announced for home match against Romford, this Sunday, 8th October. Kick off at 2pm, come down and support if you’re free!
When: Saturday 28 October, 8pm
Hammerween is back and the theme this year is Tropical! Tropicalloween!
So get dressed up in your hula hula dresses, don your Hawaiian shirts, bring your pet parrots, throw on your floral necklaces and add a splash of zombie/blood for one of the best nights in the Hammers calendar.
Get keen and all friends welcome!
On a lovely Saturday afternoon Hammers travelled West to face Grasshoppers, a team who had won both opening games with bonus point wins. Upon arrival Hammers were met with a lovely pitch for some running rugby, and with an intense and accurate warm up Hammers went back into the changing room confident of starting strongly.
Starting strong didn’t materialize and having failed to get out of the 22 after fielding the Grasshoppers kick off, Hammers were turned over and with some powerful Grasshoppers runners out wide, Hammers were soon under their posts having conceded the opening try.
Things didn’t improve after the restart, with Grasshoppers using their kicking game to good effect to pin Hammers back in their 22. After some strong carries in the midfield, a Grasshoppers runner cut a lovely line to dot down under the posts causing Hammers to regroup once again.
However, regroup they did. A very contestable kick off from Tim le Breton (10) led to some big forward pressure and the ball was stripped free from Grasshoppers hands. The ball was quickly passed wide where six Hammers attackers faced four Grasshoppers defenders. Some brilliant handling down the line saw John Brierly (15) touchdown in the corner, and Hammers coaches everywhere rejoiced that the decision to ditch 25 v 25 man touch in favour of 6 v 4 at training had paid off.
Hammers then really started playing their structures and which led to holes appearing in the Grasshoppers defence. The forward pack was to the fore with some strong carries, Bertie Western Davies (6) and Tommy Hayes (2) in particular constantly sticking their hands up to truck the ball up. This frustrated Grasshoppers, who soon found themselves down to 13 men thanks to two yellow cards for cheap shot at the ruck on Matt Perry (9), and then taking the man in the air.
Some strong running from the Hammers midfield soon led to more good field position and a strong 5 metre scrum led to Andrew Tillbrook (8) crashing over the whitewash.
Frustratingly, Hammers were still to concede another try before the half was out, but still headed for the half time huddle knowing they could turn this round.
The first 15 minutes of the second half Hammers used this belief to peg Grasshoppers back in their own 22. A series of scrums and line-outs came, but frustratingly went without any further scores.
If that was an encouraging 15 minutes of the match, the next 15 was the complete opposite. Dropped balls, missed tackles, silly penalties and numerous other errors allowed Grasshoppers to run away with the game, running in a handful of tries to effectively kill off the Hammers challenge.
Hammers ended with a good sniping try from Matt Perry, from a quick tap penalty, but ultimately the day ended in frustrating fashion.
Afterwards it was to the bar where James Lalor was awarded man of the match for his strong tackling and carrying, while Tommy Hayes took the tin man award for a tap and go penalty in his own 22 – on his own.
Final Score: Grasshoppers 42 – Hammers 17
MOTM – James Lalor
Tin Man – Tommy Hayes