Finally in December Shaun Rooke added his name to Oliver Hart's on the list of captains who have led a Hackney team to victory in Merit 1.

The Gargoyles started frantically and good ball retention allowed them to open with a four try blitz in twenty minutes playing into the wind. Max Steinbach demonstrated a relentless running style in attack to grab a brace on debut, this was matched by his fellow forwards to create quick ball which was the foundation for everything the away side did with possession. From this Charlie Williams found enough space to break a tackle and scamper 70 yards for a long range score. James Barker benefitted from a Rhys Johnson break and cut back inside his opposition fly half to run in from 30 yards. Credit must go to Hertford at this point though, refusing to be overawed from this start they dominated the rest of the first half with Hackney struggling to deal with their power runners especially off kick offs. They converted this dominance into two close range tries, earning there scores with multiple close range phases in comparison to the Hack's clinical long range efforts perhaps being the difference between the two sides.

Signs were ominous for the East London side as the second half opened with Herts continuing their dominance, the referee was favourable to the side with possession at the breakdown which encouraged attacking rugby but Adam Balzano still managed to make two key turnovers and this combined with a skilful chip on the run from Jimmy Huskins flipped territory and ensured Hertford stayed out of Hackney end zone till the score made the game over as a contest. Tom Jepps carried 3 defenders over the tryline to add to his four conversions to increase the lead. Dan Aylward then contributed perhaps the try of the day with a man against boy style "get off me!!" handoff to break through and score. Charlie Williams made sure that the try counted by re-grounding the ball and was disappointed to find out that didn't mean another 5 points, the stereotypical try vulture that he is. Rolfin got close to capping his best game for a while with a try but Matia Nau benefitted from him coming up short on another patient Hackney move to wriggle over.

Hertford added consolation scores against 14 Hackney defenders as persistent offences from Alex Higgs saw him see yellow (rumours that the referee watched last weeks game and included Alex's many penalties from that game in his weighing up of the punishment are unfounded at time of publishing)  as time winded down but the convincing nature of the victory should give the Gargoyles confidence in there march up the merit 1 ladder