A workmanlike win from Hackney as they travelled north to face a team who'd won two on the bounce, although given the opposition 'tactics', perhaps they hadn't been playing much rugby. The game was a throwback to rugby of yesteryear with a couple of moments of inspiration from Alex O'Hara unlocking the OGs defence and a hugely determined team effort defence ensuring Hackney took the points.



Hackney went ahead early on as good work from the forwards had OGs under pressure and they were penalised. Captain Charlie Davis turned to Hackney.s points machine; at 5m from touch on the 10m line it was more speculative question of whether it was in range than a gimmee three points. But sure enough James Hardwick slotted the kick to put the Griffins up; it was a superb strike.



Occasionally Hackney managed to burst into life but on the whole it was a stop start game and the Griffins never looked like being able to get to the 4 try bonus point, partly as OG's stubborn tactics conspired against them.



Midway into the first half an OG clearance found a Hackney shirt. Hackney no. 6 Alex Bobin fielded the kick and set about a barnstorming run in which two OG defenders were swatted aside. The Griffins were there to support and quick ball was secured. As has been the case so often this season, fly half O.Hara saw the gap and went, piercing the OG defence. As the cover approached, O.Hara intelligently offloaded inside to James Dawson who finished with aplomb. Dawson his try-scoring streak to move to joint top of the Hackney scoring charts alongside James Rowbottom on 5. Hardwick duly converted to make it 10-0.



OGs were content to win the ball and kick but a slow and very undulating pitch meant Hackney could not force themselves on the game in the way they've done in previous weeks. A spell of OGs pressure resulted in a drop goal . aptly reflecting the extent of their ambition for running rugby but Hackney stormed back. Johnny Crockett charged down a clearance from the restart and Ben Chamberlain pressured the OGs who committed a penalty right in front. Hardwick restored the 10 point lead at half time.



The boys now had to play uphill and face up to a stubborn OG side. It wasn.t pretty but there was character and determination in abundance from 1-15. The game wasn.t one for highlights but it was a great forward display, with Johnny Crockett leading the lineout brilliantly, supported by Ollie Hart and Andy Pilkington, who both had huge games. Everybody laid their bodies on the line time after time; Martin Byers came off the bench to great effect with customary big hits.



Late on there was a scare as a speculative kick behind the Hackney defence was unfortunately missed by James Hardwick allowing the OG winger to dive on the ball in the corner. Hackney responded by working the ball well through the forwards before winning a penalty. Hardwick again nailed the kick with consummate ease.

A great spectacle this was not, but the mark of a good team is the ability to turn potential banana skins into wins even when playing within themselves and Hackney achieved that. A week off and an earlier kick-off time next time out - can Hackney continue their run?



MoTM . Oliver Hart . often the unsung hero of this Hackney side, vice captain Hart consistently puts in towering performances from the second row. Saturday was his sort of game and he led from the front with big tackle after big tackle close to the fringes.