The day started early. Nonetheless, the Gogs faithful made the arduous Saturday morning journey from North-East to South-West London arriving in proper time for a good warm up. No hangover fry-ups were enjoyed.

 

The rugby Gods had finally been kind to the Hackney Gogs after a season plagued by injuries. Adam Faulkner had returned to the fray after a long spell on the sidelines, James Simpson was not concussed, and the gods had gifted the boys in yellow and blue not 3, but 4 experienced front row players; a luxury not regularly enjoyed this season. And despite a strong wind, the conditions we remarkably good considering the persistent rainfall throughout the week.

 

The Gogs started against the wind, knowing they would have to grind out a strong defensive performance in the first half to keep the score line competitive against the wind. And, credit to them they did just that, making Hanwell work hard for 2 tries (and 1 soft try at the hands your correspondent). Despite a huge headwind, significant size disadvantage and relentless crash balls from the opposition’s big runners, the Gogs had put up a sterling defensive display for 40 minutes.

 

As Hanwell tired, opportunities were created by Hackney which finally led to a deserved try (a gorgeous try at that) shortly after half time. After conceding, however, Hanwell came back hard with a renewed aggression and over a spell of 20 minutes scored a further 2 tries thanks largely to some very lax tackling from the Gogs.

 

Hackney finally responded with some aggression of their own, in the form of a marauding run from Nick Watmore, but by which point served only to be a consolation.

 

All in all, a typical Gogs game; 60 minutes of good play let down by 20 minutes of poor play. As Jack Whitehall would say, it was a case of “All Fart No Poo”.

 

Alex Higgs – 7/10

A welcome return to the front row, excellent scrummage against far larger opposition. Hopefully that niggle prevents him returning to the Gargoyles too soon.

 

Darren Griffin – 2/10

Did well on the pitch but had already ruined everyone’s Saturday lie in. Unforgivable.

 

Khris Sankar – 8/10

“If you can arrange a babysitter every Saturday I’ll play” (Sankar.K.2019)

Please follow the link to our crowdfunding page: gofundme.com/GogsFrontRowSupportFund

 

Mat Cole – 7/10

Mr Reliable, never forgets to defend the fringes. Doesn’t like cliché chat on the pitch. Lesson learned.

 

Franck Cohadon 9/10

An absolute nuisance at the breakdown all game. The best performance from this player this season.

 

Ben Graham 7/10

Missed a tackle so can only assume he was still thinking about the English dismantling of Ireland last weekend.

 

Tom Gluckstein 8/10

Strong defensive performance from this well drilled player. Another person that doesn’t like cliché chat on the pitch. Noted.

 

Adam Faulkner 7/10

Great to have a strong carrier back in the fray. Didn’t start a fight so lacking some of the aggression he had before the lay-off.

 

Rich Shorey 7/10

Did well to give clean ball often under pressure. Made some mazy runs forward and fortunately, didn’t try another box kick.

 

Matt Hanton 8/10

Made a couple of superb kicks into the opposition corners. Shame he couldn’t kick between the post, 0/2.

 

Joe Mitchell 7/10

Played on the right wing during a game with a strong left wind. Didn’t get as much of the ball as he is perhaps accustomed to.

 

Kieran Murray 11/10

Easily the best second row replacement on the pitch. Scored a sublime try to make up for conceding a soft try. Rumor has it that this player taught Elliot Daly how to grubber.

 

Hugh Price 9.5/10 (MOTM)

Excellent with the ball in hand and frequently broke the gain line which is a new proposition for the Gogs midfield. Took a couple of straight arms to the face; good job those crowns are stronger than his old teeth.

 

Phil Leonard 8/10

Great hands when the ball was kicked over. Quicker than the rest of the back line which is great until he becomes isolated out in front.

 

Chris Reay 3/10

Subbed at half time.

 

Nick Watmore 8/10

Worked hard to score a good try when other Gogs' heads had fallen. Glad to hear he will be about more often.

 

Matt Rooke 7/10

The Emperor must be sleeping with one eye open. Clearly Matt R’hook is after his position.

 

James Simpson 7/10

This player does not prejudice between the warm up and game, he smashes whoever is unlucky enough to be located within his line of sight. Maybe this player has a future in the back row.

 

James Davis 7/10

Tried to keep up with Phil a few times but, like the rest of the back line, didn’t. Provided a good option in attacking moves when the opportunity arose.

 

Shu Shome – 10/10

Honourable mention to this lad who, despite being sicker than Lethal Bizzle's bars, turned out to support the team. Truly Gogesque.