Tries: Blake Armstrong, Newton Mills x 2, James Davis x 2, Uzo x 2, Rolfin Nyhus, Mike Fanning, Sam Tivoi

Convs: Jonathan Pughe x 4, Tim Cox x 2

In contrast to the game played a fortnight ago under clear blue skies, this one looked set to be a January classic. Grey skies, a biting wind and a heavy pitch sought to constrain the Gargoyles brand of running rugby. Talk before the game centred on the importance of fronting up in the forwards, negating the strength of Hatfield, before playing simple hands through the backs to pace out wide. A great sight at Spring Hill was the return of a certain Mr Uzo Uyanwune, proudly pulling on his Hackney shirt once more, following the campaign to avoid deportation to Nigeria and subsequent release. Uzo didn.t disappoint as another big performance saw him consolidate his position as leading try scorer in the club, taking his tally to 10 for the season.

Kicking off downhill high, right and deep, Jonathan Pugh (JP) launched the Gargoyles forwards en masse at the opposition pack. Whilst not gaining the ball straight from kick off, some hard hitting tackles and competition at the breakdown resulted in Hackney ball, Shaun Rooke passing to JP, to Fanning and onto Armstrong who surged surge left towards opposition 22. The back row in close support meant despite the muddy conditions the ball was recycled quickly and spun quickly out from the base in a mirror image of the first phase saw Hackney brought to a halt five metres from the try line in the right hand corner.

Again tough battling by the fowards saw Rooke pass swiftly left, JP playing flat took one step before releasing Fanning who faded left, straightened and passed crisply to Armstrong to run over unopposed just left of the Hatfiled posts. A aerial view of the ball's path from kick off would have displayed a "Z" that Zorro himself would have been proud of!

The remainder of the first half followed a similar pattern with the Gargoyles forwards carrying and tackling well against a heavier pack. The scrummaging was solid with all front 3 prominent in the loose. Rolfin Nyhus throwing accurately, finding locks Owen Addision and Dave Huxley flying high meant the line out offered no respite for Hatfield. A delightful run through the middle saw Nyhus step one, straighten and fix the last man before feinting an outrageous two handed over head dummy, (bought like a springbok in a lion's test!) before touching down nonchalantly under the posts. Other highlights included James Davis screaming through to take an inside ball off JP and carve the defence to pieces from the half way line, the first of a brace of tries scored by the in form winger to make it 3 tries in 2 games.

With six tries scored in the first half it was perhaps unsurprising that the foot was removed from the gas in the second. It was still a little disappointing for the home side though as Hatfield gained a territorial foothold in the game, their forwards trundling through the quagmire taking the sting out of Hackney legs. They didn't make it over the line but for a time it became increasingly likley before the boot of Fanning, who'd moved into stand off for JP, unlocked Hatfield's strangle hold with a siege gun boot. The final 25 minutes were again Hackney's with a try from Sam Tivoi, recently on in the centre to score his fourth try in his last four appearances, and another from Davis the pick of the bunch. Hatfield's only option to kick long and watch forlornly as the Hackney back 3 returned with interest.

Chances were missed in this game and it was not a perfect display. In patches though there was good flowing rugby which in light of the conditions points to a side really gelling as the season progresses. The defence was solid with the forwards grafting and the backs rarely tested. The cup campaign rolls on into the semi's...

MOTM: Some solid performances with a special mention to the returning Uzo who did what Uzo does and brave Pete Kaoud who kept battling for the whole match in spite of a nasty looking hand injury - a true warrior. The honours though lie with Newton Mills who stood out in only his second game at Loose Head. His scrummaging solid, he was ever present around the park, with two tries to boot.