Aiming for the requested 2.30 kick off saw Hackney relaxed & focused only to be delayed by a rather tardy opposition. In other times this delay may well have derailed Hackney but it was not the case this Saturday. Fielding 5 Hackney virgins was no stumbling block to a superb display of ruck control, handling, off loading, tackling & ultimately try scoring. The opening play resulted in a penalty to Hackney which was kicked by the reliable Matt Hanton. This laid a foundation for the first half in which tries came more regularly than London buses. All 6 first half tries came via the backline but without the excellent work of the forwards the ball would not have been available to them. The back row of Alex Milne, Laurence Mills & Ant Duttine supplied ruck & turnover ball for fun. Newbie fullback Justin Chandler worked angles & space well, creating confusion in the opposition backs. Dave Prowse worked tirelessly throughout the full 80 minutes in the engine room that is the second row. The first of Hackney.s replacements was used at 30 minutes when Ben Scott-Robinson.s troublesome knee flared up again. Enter Piotr Radulski, the scrum lost no momentum & neither did open play, a testament to his ability to fit in with the squad. Arif was the man to capitalise on a brace of scoring opportunities just before & just after half time, with some speedy & elusive wing play.

The first 15 minutes of the second half followed the pattern of the opening 40 minutes. It was at 55 minutes that Alex Wilson retired from play with back problems. This brought Uzo on to the pitch at No8 with Alex Milne going into the 2nd row & Laurence Mills to blindside. The subsequent disruption to Hackney.s scrum allowed Verulamians to gain a temporary upper hand in this department. They then had their best period of the game, taking their chances & winning a penalty within 10 metres of Hackney.s line. A well worked pre-planned play resulted in a score under the posts at 55 minutes. This lifted them & shortly following the restart they worked a 2 on 1 on the left wing. The jubilant winger was careering towards the try line but had failed to notice .The Chiropractor. (Tolo) powered by rocket boots on his right, wipeout, no score. This tackle had 2 effects, firstly to snuff out any opposition resolve & secondly encourage Hackney to take charge in all aspects once again. Within seconds Hackney had scored their ninth try. Another 2 scores followed as did another 2 injuries. Blake with an unfortunate back injury when he selflessly tried to stop an opposition player damaging his knees by putting his back between them & the ground after scoring his 73rd minute try. Also Alex Milne with a hamstring strain. Hackney finished with 13 on the pitch.

A special mention must go to Matt Hanton for a kicking display that a certain Mister Wilkinson would die for.

All in all a very good .team. game, every player working for each other. A pleasure to watch.

MOTM : Ant Duttine . a truly super display of open side play.