I've never really enjoyed playing Tring, weather it was the two forfeits from them which nearly cost us promotion on points difference last year or the "three cheers for the league runners up" from a few seasons ago, I've never enjoyed my trips to West Hertfordshire. However I've now found a new reason to despise this particular ground - the 2nd pitch. Due to the way fixtures have fell in the past Hackney have avoided this gem and used the 1st pitch, and what a gem it is; infant sized and sloping steeply from touchline to touchline patch of grass intermittingly consisting of ice or mud pools.

Both sides were determined to play rugby far exceeding the standard of the under foot conditions. The gargoyles started the brightest and made use of turnover ball from a ruck to catch Tring out of position on the blind side. Dan Worth scampered up the touchline and fed debutant Fergus Hallam who cut inside on a great running line to finish the try superbly. Hackney then continued to combine strong forward carries from Olly Kazeem and Ben Jones with clever kicking from Dan Worth in behind the home sides defensive line to increase the lead through a penalty kick. Tring fought back with a tale of two quick tap penalties, the first by them to catch Hack off guard and the second by Hackney which lead to a handling error and Tring's second try.

The gargoyles keep on the pressure throughout the first half to make life difficult for Tring's second string, handling errors were forced and any clearing kicks were returned with interest by Rhys Davies, one of five 2nd XV debutants in the side at full back. Eventually a Ben Chamberlain break into the Tring 22 gave the Hack an opportunity and Tom Jepps finished the move with a well timed crash ball.

The second half proved to be a different contest, the home side's dominant set piece started to wear down the Hackney 8 who began to struggle with injuries mounting up and exhausting the bench. The visitors mainly stood around unable to halt Tring from constantly throwing the ball to the 6th man at lineout time and whipping the ball down the backline at speed. Resistance came in the form of last ditch tackling from French pair of the imprresive Quentin Villeret and Benji Lenoel but in general Hackney had no response after half time. Despite the disappointing end, optimism should be sought from the impressive debuts combined with the two Ben's returning from injury to give the side a freshness which played well for periods and will need time to gel