Josh Atlas Nelson Herbert Rolfin Sam Joyce Rick Falla Mark Hilsden Paddy Walsh Jon Wood Cormac Darren Griffin Sam Yauner John Chung Declan Ryan Paddy Walsh Will Ockenden Mark James

Although Hackney's first league game of the season ended in disappointment the nature of the encounter endorsed the true spirit of merit table rugby. It was hard fought and fair. In particular the battle up front sea sawed as both packs, evenly mixed in their abilities, fought for possession.
The Gogs preparation for the game had its usual highs and lows. A post tuesday training review of selection promised an abundance of players. As the game got closer a well balanced side with a bench big enough for talk of a fourth team rapidly diminished.

The Gogs, well versed in making do, lined up to receive from the kick off with only three recognised forwards. Josh Atlas and Rolfin were proping for the very first time. What the pack lacked in experience was certainly made up for by their endevour and for most of the first half they edged the contest up front. The Old Milhilians fly half occasionally punished Hackney with very deep kicks leaving them to struggle with line outs in their 22. Early on in the first half against the run of play one of these kicks lead to the oppositions first try. Darren Griffin put Hackney back in the game after sustained attacks lead to two converted penalties.

Hackney's confidence that good ball delivered to our strong back line would lead to tries was dinted when Will Ockendon, a bright, talented new recruit limped off soon followed by the rock of hackney's defensive back line John Chung. This limited the home sides effectiveness going forward and on a day when the rain resembled oil the wingers Declan Ryan and Phil Walsh had little chance to show their talents out wide. Despite this from scraps of possession they always made ground. Sam Yauner, closer to the action as inside centre had some great runs, helping to keep the Gogs in the game and soon after half time they edged ahead with another penalty.

At this stage with only 14 men the game was still going Hackneys way until, once again from well in their half the Old Milhillians launched a long kick. Their fast scrum half gave chase as the full back struggled to contain the greasy ball. He hacked on to score their second try. After this a confident opposition were difficult to resist. The gogs found themselves pinned back again by a long kick. The ball from the line out was gathered by a more determined opposition and they went over for their third try.

Excellent play from Cormac as scrum half who conjured up ball from a series of messy rucks. Great determination by the front row who held their own in the scrum. Rolfin once again effective and powerful. Paddy Walsh was worth two men in defence and going forward. The most heartening performance of all was from Rick Falla. Fearless tackling and a bewildering ability to win line out ball having never played in the pack before must give him MOTM.