On a day in which the rugby played reflected the weather (cold, damp, dreary) Hackney’s win over London Welsh probably wasn’t a performance that will make it onto the greatest matches DVD.

The game started slowly, with Hackney giving away a series of penalties at the breakdown that allowed London Welsh to pin the home side in their own 22 from the resulting kicks. Whilst the Hackney line was never seriously threatened, frustration grew as Hackney failed to string a series of consecutive plays together without making some infringement. The Welsh pressure yielding them three points after the visiting kicker nudged the ball through the uprights after another penalty was conceded.

This jolted the Griffins into action, and the home attacked. Sticking to their now increasingly well honed game plan, they bore deep into Welsh territory. The pack, whose collective indiscretions at the breakdown in the first quarter had been the source of much consternation, upped their game, secured ball and provided the backs with a decent, if muddy, platform.

Flyhalf O’Hara first levelled the scores with a penalty kick before Arif Saad found space on the wing and ran over in the corner.

Hackney wasted no time in collecting the restart and heading straight back towards the Welsh line, with thrusting runs from Will Bowers round the fringes. Another penalty kick and a try from a good backs move that put Ben Weller over the whitewash put Hackney in the right side of a 13 point score difference going into the break.

The second half provided little entertainment for the spectators, with the majority of the game played between the respective 22 yard lines and no points scored by either side. London Welsh played with an attritional style and with a large, hefty pack that suited the conditions, attacked the fringes of the breakdown for play after play. The well drilled Hackney defence adapted well and soaked up the pressure. London Welsh, who had the majority of possession in the latter half of the match, didn’t cross the Griffins’ line once. With the ball, Hackney looked strong, but not sharp. Balls were dropped, passes were intercepted and unnecessary penalties given away.

Despite not getting the bonus point, Hackney remain unbeaten at the top of the league and came away with a win on a day not designed for champagne rugby. The Griffins comfortably beat a side they had lost to on the last two visits. Momentum just about maintained.