A vastly different game & attitude to the disappointing loss at Merchant Taylors. With a number of players out of position & new lads in their first game the team were asked by coach Fred Pentecost to play simply, aggressively & go forwards, all of which were carried out to the letter. There was an excellent work rate throughout the game, with some very good individual runs . not just strong running but also well targeted mis-matches allowing these opportunities.

Hackney were on the front foot almost the entire game, with the exception of a 10 min period when St Albans were camped on Hackney.s 5m line. During this phase Hackney.s scrum held firm, despite St Albans best efforts & so did the defensive line. Rucking was fiercely competed & several turnovers won. Attacking in the backline was precise with very few handling errors, it was also varied (a good effort as the backs were reasonably new to each other, including Blake Armstrong on debut at 10).

A moment of the match summing up the performance was when Ryan ran from one wing to the other in order to make the extra man, creating confusion in the opposition defence & leading to a try. Newton Mills & Chris McMahon both put in towering performances, reminding the 1st XV pack that they are knocking on the door, giving a huge lift to the entire team as they make metres & give fantastic targets for others to play off.

Overall the team worked the opposition out well, 2 or 3 phases up the middle, spin wide, score. Both Newton & Chris put the fear of God into the tacklers, scoring good tries as a direct result. Discipline was good with a penalty not conceded until 31 mins gone. Ball recovery from the restarts was precise with only 1 knock on. Penalties were taken quickly leading to either a clean break or a further 10m due to the early tackle.

Blake played a dependable, sensible & accurate game at fly half. He used his options well, mainly keeping it in hand but when the need arose kicked well. Blair suffered a nasty cut below the eye & had to go to hospital for stitches. This led to a shuffle in the front row, with Mike Harris showing his versatility and commitment to the team in moving to 2 & Adam Brace making a long-awaited return to Hackney shirt to put in a solid performance at 1. Ben Scott-Robinson had a stormer at 6 for the 1st half & so did Pete Kaoud in the 2nd. Pete Walsham did it yet again . pick & go, catch & pass etc.- a solid team player. Will Bowers showed good vision and crossed the whitewash twice.

Captain Tim Cox motivated those around him & put in a confident performance at full back. Debutants Henry Williams & Sam Tivoi had good games . nice to start at Hackney on a positive. Scrum half Luke was in excellent voice, distributed and ran the show well.

The game did become a bit .scrappy. in periods but at all times was played on the front foot. At late start (2.30) leading to 35 min halves did not upset the team resolve. The game was won by HT & the target I set was not to allow them to score . as far as I am concerned it.s a win double!

MOTM . could have given it to high scorers but chose Blake . playing out of position & doing it very well.