The Griffins were narrowly defeated by fellow mid table outfit ‘The Grasshoppers’ on a wet away day in South West London on Saturday. The defeat has left the Griffins placed comfortably in 6th position in the league as we approach the half-way point of the season.

The Grasshoppers had the better of the first half following some hurried preparations from the Griffins side prior to the game. They exploited the wet conditions and a slight slope advantage by employing an astute kicking game to ensure that the Griffins were forced to play most of the first half from deep in their own territory. The home side managed to turn this territorial control into points, and ran in two well worked tries through good link play between backs and forwards. The pick of the tries being worked from one side of the pitch to the other through a number of phases from a lineout, before being swung back the other way for the backs to swiftly move the ball through the hands to score in the corner. Straight out of the training manual. Both kicks were missed to leave the score at 10-0 going into half time.

The second half saw a much improved territorial game from the Griffins side with some great touch finders from half backs Ed Clark and Andy Sprague. Much like the Grasshoppers in the first half, the Griffins were able to make the most of this possession and get themselves back to level terms following 2 great tries from number 8 Matt Strong, both coming off the back of the increasing supremacy that the Griffins were starting to enforce in the scrum. Strong picked up and went on a marauding run to score in the corner for his first, the second saw the Griffins pack drive their counterparts over their own line leaving Strong to flop on the ball to pull the Griffins level. Both tough kicks were missed, to leave the game finely placed at 10 a piece.

With the game looking like it might end with honours even, both sides were pushing for the winning score. Unfortunately that fell to the Grasshoppers, and with their stand-off slotting his first successful kick of the day from out wide, the Griffins would need a converted try of their own to draw even again. Hopes were raised when there was time for one more attack deep in the Grasshoppers territory, but the defence held tight.

The Griffins team were disappointed to come away with a loss against a side that were very beatable away from home, but can at least be pleased to pick up the losing bonus point to ensure that they are still comfortable in mid table, and in touching distance of the front pack. The team have to go on a winning run now in order to start climbing further up the table, starting with a tough away game at table toppers Welwyn next Saturday.