Hackney failed to capitalise on their potential & only managed to stay in touch on the score sheet for limited periods. Hackney started in a positive fashion unfortunately gifting USC an interception opening try at 2 minutes. Undeterred they came back with a try of their own from Ant, duly converted by Matt. This was the last time that Hackney had a score line parity. Various infringements allowed the opposition penalty opportunities, 2 of which were converted into points. Attacking flair gave Hackney possession & territory allowing Mike to score out wide at 22 minutes. The remainder of the quarter saw USC take ownership of the game, with 2 converted tries to their name (although 1 did come following a blatant knock on, missed by the referee).

The 3rd quarter was the total opposite of the 2nd with Hackney battering the opposition, boosted by Mike’s 2nd try immediately from the restart. Penalties were traded in this period & a sense of belief was palpable in the Hackney ranks, despite struggling to deal with the referee’s law interpretation. The last quarter was best forgotten from Hackney’s perspective, USC scoring 3 unanswered tries.

Ultimately Hackney suffered at the hands of a very well oiled machine, with a kicking game that matched their running one. Positives can be taken by Hackney, scrummage went well although was not maximised, off loading was well executed & work rate was high. The team dynamic was lacking however, players out of position, new (to some) faces, all of which disharmonised the team. Something that as a club we need to come to terms with, as this is not the first time for it to occur, nor will it be the last.

MOTM : Pete Walsham. Excellent support work throughout the game, super work rate, well executed tackling & a positive role model.