The streak is dead, long live the streak.

The Griffins took to Spring Hill with a measly 6 changes from the team that delivered a 3rd consecutive bagel to Hertfordshire’s historic cathedral city last week including the 4th attempt at a half back pairing in 4 games. Perhaps it was this lack of continuity that contributed to an unstructured start for the Griffins as the least threateningly named team in the league showed themselves to be a cut above what Hackney had faced thus far. A cultured right (!) boot from the Grasshopper’s ten combined with liberal use of the DFS clearance stock meant the visiting team were enjoying the lion’s share of territory and possession in the early exchanges.

And so it came.

If one had chosen to sit down and watch the extended director’s cut version of the Fellowship of the Ring (including credits), and there is no reason why one wouldn't, one could have started the film at the end of the Kilburn game, watched it in time slots correlating with Hackney’s fixtures and finished it before one saw another point scored against the Griffins. Indeed, the clean-sheet had been maintained longer even than that tortuously long analogy.

As the aforementioned boot (impeccable all day) knocked over the opening points, the bagel was gone and Hackney set their minds to the task at hand. A series of penalties (more on those later) and a rollover try for Grasshoppers had Hackney behind at half time 9-16.

Some fresh impetus was clearly needed. It came in shape of the smallest inside centre in the league. Having struggled with the concept of 2 on 1’s all season (a seemingly contagious issue within the Hackney ranks. That’s right, it’s catching) Rich Frost decided that teammates were surplus to requirements, just like the seemingly dozens of would-be tacklers who struggled to bring down the 68kg monster who dotted down in the corner.

Question: What do Jim Carrey, Justin Bieber and the ref have in common?

Answer: Canadian heritage, questionable lids and a slightly confusing interpretation of the breakdown and the offside line (I assume). Whilst Fraser Tait, Matt Strong and Sean Conner got some good mileage out of their respective ‘confused’ faces, Luke Goulden was mainly employing his ‘how-did-I-get-away-with-that’ look. Tickets to the penalty lottery were purchased and there were winners and there were losers. The Griffins were definitely losers every time a penalty was conceded within kicking range. Two more successful attempts stretched the score to 14-22 to the visitors. Hackney struck back with a counter attacking try, started by Guy Watmore who found Will Burrows in typically hard running form. Burrows and Joe Askham converted a straightforward 2 on 1 chance (no, seriously!) and the Griffins were back within 3.

The pressure was unrelenting and it was clear only one team would be getting the victory at this point. Another break up field ended with Burrows dragged down just half a yard short of the line. An offload into the breadbasket of Will Bowers left him with the simplest of tasks to score the winning try. But, dear reader, you will have noticed that Dr. Bowers does not occur amongst the try scorers. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

The inevitable came when, following another period of sustained pressure, the ball was moved wide and captain PJ jinked his way around the cover defence to reach out for the line and put the Griffins ahead for the first time in the game. The icing was duly applied when another lineout, marshalled by the excellent Johnny Crockett, was secured and the ball moved wide again for PJ to grab his second and the bonus point with the last play of the game.

The Griffins passed their toughest test so far, maintained a perfect start to the season and yet remain 3rd in the league, seemingly on account of not having played Staines yet.