Revenge, as the Griffins found out on Saturday, is not always a dish best served cold. It’s also tasty with a dollop of strong running, a dash of massive tackling and a sprinkle of flair rugby. Returning to the scene of a disappointing defeat last year, Hackney continued their unbeaten march in Herts. Middlesex 1 despite a resolute and determined effort from Old Millhillians.

After an unconventional build up featuring a flat tire and a passenger vomiting out of a car window en route, HRFC kicked the game off. The visitors constant pressure and organised phase play in possession lead to a huge territorial advantage in the 1st half. Early in a game a Charles Davis break from a crisply executed backline move left the Griffins only yards from the try-line, this allowed Sam Wilkinson to extend full length in dive worthy of a man auditioning to be Tom Daley’s synchronised diving partner to dot down for the opening try. Hackney were relentless and it wasn’t long before they doubled their advantage and quick offloading released the ultra-mobile prop Charles Bailey in the wide channel. Bailey couldn’t quite beat the covering defence but similar slick passing moments later found the Charles “the Finisher” Davis who cut inside for his 5th try of the season.

An unfortunate clash of head meant Ben Weller had to leave the field to stop the flow of red claret emerging from his thinking cap. The reshuffled backline meant Sam Wilkinson moved out to the centre position but the dangerous looking backline play continued. Sam almost benefited as an uninhabited offload from Davis found him space only 5 yards from the end zone, taking the unusual decision to try and secure possession by inserting the ball into his anal passage, Wilkinson couldn’t quite ground the ball as he tried to transfer his grip over the line. A rare foray for OM’s into Hackney’s half gave them a score which got them back into the game. One simple slip on first phase ball gave the swift Millhillians 12 a huge hole to run through for a converted score. However contributions from 1st team debutants meant the Griffins didn’t wait long for their next opportunity; Dan “the Tank” Worth perfectly executed the rhino move to flatten his opposite number and an example of one of the numerous big carries by Chad Burke set up good field position. Alex O’Hara switched play to the vulnerable blind side and released the on rushing Chris Carroll who charged over for the score near the end of half.

The opening of the 2nd period established the patterns for the remaining 40 minutes as it so often does. On this occasion however, it established a lack of discipline from the away side as a physical Old Millhillians side continued to compete and started to take advantage of the Griffins mistakes. Immediately a penalty gifted the OM’s place kicker 3 points and In-between the more frequent toots of the referee’s whistle, Hackney grinded out a pair of scores which did enough to make the game safe. A characteristic explosive carry from Ben Chamberlain gifted the ball to replacement scrum half Shaun Rooke over the try line. Demonstrating a fear of scoring akin to a chronic arachnophobic in the spider section of a zoo, Rooke passed onto Arif Saad who needs no second invitation to score tries as his record of 7 in 5 matches shows. An injury to Ben Jones forced another reshuffle with Will Bowers moving to hooker; at the next scrum Will appeared to adopt an unconventional technique involving kicking the ball so hard it goes straight to the fly half. This worked out nicely as the loose ball resulted in the home side defense losing their shape which allowed to O’Hara to streak away and find Wilkinson. Demonstrating a killer instinct for tries perhaps lacking in other 9’s at the club, Sam scored his second try which was also converted by Alex O’Hara who maintained his 100% record off the tee on the day.

The rest of the half belonged to OM’s as consistent infringements by Hackney gave the referee no choice but to use his yellow card. The Griffins were forced into more changes as Ben Weller attempted his best Terry Butcher / Paul Ince impression by retaking the field with large amount of head bandages which lasted 2 minutes before peeling off and resulting in another enforced interchange. Stout defense was in order typified by Captain Ollie Hart who held up the ball when it seemed certain a try was to be scored. However from the next 5 meter scrum a simple equation of 8 heavy men pushing against 7 lighter men equaled a push over consolation try for the Mill Hill outfit.