This week's performance was a considered, intense & tactically smart one. Despite the early score from Kim, Stevenage were going to be no pushover. Their first scrum set alarm bells ringing as Hackney retreated at a great rate of knots. This was a warning shot that Hackney heeded & from then on competed & at times dominated the scrum. Mike Harris had to be replaced at 14 minutes suffering from a shoulder dislocation, with Dom taking the hooker role. Stevenage fought back & scored from a driving lineout at close range, failing to convert the try. Luke Parker scored within 5 minutes following some very strong & direct running. There then followed a period of defence from Hackney which culminated in 6 penalties given away in a 10 minute period all within the 22. Hackney were fortunate to avoid a sin binning for repeated infringement but did concede a score from another close in driven line out. The score now stood at 12 all. Hackney lifted their game to deny the opposition any further territory & little possession for the remainder of the half. The reward being a missed penalty kick but a converted try from Hackney first timer Tim MacNally.

The second half was owned by Hackney, with very little time spent in their own half & any attacks defended well. Some quality out of hand kicking from Matt & others ensured that Hackney played in the right areas of the pitch. Even though they were camped on Stevenage's line for extended periods they failed to make it count on the scoreboard, having to work until the 61st minute for another Luke Parker try. With 15 minutes left Uzo went to the defence of captain Luke & the resultant exchange of handbags saw him & a Stevenage player taking a 10 minute "time for reflection". More pressure from Hackney gave them another kickable penalty opportunity which Matt Hanton duly converted. The remaining time saw no further alteration to the scores.

A very well executed game, with the exception of the 10 minutes worth of penalties in the first half. The pack scrummaged & played as an 8, the backs shifted the ball well looking for space & opportunities. Strong & inventive running lines were the order of the day. Tactically, the game was one of the best that this team has played so far. The new players to the team slotted in well & should be proud of themselves.

An all round performance to make this coach smile.

MOTM – Tim MacNally – work rate was stratospheric, great comms, ran like a steam train & scored a try on debut.