It was an almost canicular day that greeted the return of Hackney RFC to the London leagues, and Spring Hill looked resplendent decked in new Hackney flags and even a barrier to keep the crowd respectful. Stevenage Town were the opponents and the match got off to a frenetic start with Hackney dragging their opponents across the pitch with some fluid attacking moves, with two notable forays made by Laurence 'Balboa' Mills. Stevenage eventually succumbed to a snipe around the fringes that was perfectly orchestrated by Matt Strong and Charles O'Halloran and saw Strong crash over to open his account for the season. More pressure at the lineout from Chamberlain and Bowers saw Stevenage panic and concede a penalty, which Ed Clark converted with aplomb. 10-0 up inside twenty minutes and Hackney were eyeing up a bonus point.

All was soon to change. Problems in the scrum and a lack of determination on Hackney's part to get round the corner in defence led to the ten minutes before halftime being dominating by the previously dormant Stevenage back line. Their agile and wily back three exploited space and players out of position to score two tries, which left Hackney 14-10 down and scratching their heads. Hackney came out of the blocks well with a blindside attack from a scrum allowing a combination of Will Burrows and PJ Lloyd (both playing their first competitive game for the Griffins) to cut Stevenage in two, and Lloyd to score. At 17–14 this was really the zenith of Hackney's day.

Stevenage scored again with 15 minutes to go, after Hackney had been savaged by injuries to Jamie Harris, Alex Bewick, and Mike Legg, and so the Griffins needed three points for victory with 13 minutes to go. The events of these last minutes were not pretty. Hackney had setup camp on the Stevenage line only to squander chances to score by a combination of hotheadedness and miscommunication. These mistakes were to prove costly with Stevenage scoring three clinical counterattack tries as Hackney attempted to win the game. The scoreline suggests a large gulf in class which was simply not apparent on the day, with more discipline at the ruck and a greater emphasis on communication in both attack and defence it could have been a very different first league game for the Griffins. Much to build on here, and process which will begin at Old Street on Saturday.