It’s been a tough season for the Gogs, due to lack of a front row most weeks and 14 point deficits it’s left us with games we should have won. Like last week against Hayes...


However, with a strong squad, a fully operational front row, and a 1hour+ trip to darkest depths of West London there was an air of optimism on this glorious Saturday morning. 


WARNING: if you’re reading this hoping for geography chat or the great sights of your local Garden City then you’ve come to the wrong place. There will only be tales of victory in this match report. 


An uneasy warm-up didn’t show promising signs of starting the game on the front foot. Now, a lot of chat is made about the first tackle being a big one and ‘letting them know we’re here’ and this was personified by Ben Graham who upon kick off took it very literally and tackled the Hayes player mid-air. Getting the penalty tally off to an early start and a Hayes player with an early finish. 


Once Hackney got the ball back we kept possession, made yards, and created space. Strong running from all the forwards set us up well- special shout outs to Alex Guassardo and Ed Waters. After a few phases, a great line set Nick Watmore up for a wonderful try.


Hayes then started attacking well with large forwards and their sideways running 10. This led to a phenomenal show of Hackney defensive, time and time again Hayes were within 5 metres of the line and failed to break through with their large pack. Questions were being asked, and it was answered by Il Capitano with a solid turnover from the number 10. There are reports that it was his 2nd turnover in 2 weeks *these reports are self-proclaimed*.


Then some other stuff happened. Hayes drew level after continual pressure and the score sat at 7-7. After another great break by Alex Guassardo, he looked set for a try but a covering Hayes defender forced a pass to Shorey who winked at Kieran as he regained position as top try scorer for the Gogs. 


Half time. A more positive talk then the Gogs are used to. With a game plan set in motion and cliches traded it was left on the final words of “if we win this half, we’ve won the game” 


There was nothing to show on the Gogs' scorecard in the second half but a penalty from Hanton, though magnificent defence ensured that we lost the half but won the game. Final score 17-12. 


Moment of the match came when a perfectly flat miss pass was played to Tom Owain Davi(e)s prompted a perfect “ohhhh alright then” in a heavy Welsh accent. Followed by an excellent tackle by a Hayes player. 


So the Gogs set off home to East London, thankfully a shared playlist meant that the weekly plays of Toto and Cher could still occur. 


Great performance by everyone involved and thank you for Hayes for having us.


Back by popular demand:


Dave Lewis - 6.9/10 

Tackled hard, great scrummaging, ran well with the ball. My favourite moment came when Dave proceeded to show his in-air athleticism by tackling the 9 standing just behind the ruck. The second best Gogs prop called Dave.


Ed Waters - 7/10 

Threw arrows all day. A healthy amount of tackles and some excellent running. 


Mike Waithe - 7/10

As always, strong scrummaging performance and big hits. Extra points as he managed to rile up half of Hayes’ team.


Mat Cole - 7/10 

A healthy amount of tackles and great line-out performance. 


Franck Cohadon - 7/10

Disrupted the opposition line out all game and owned the breakdown. 


Ben Graham - 7/10

Tackle count in the hundreds and an impressive heat map. Plus points for the first-minute injury. 


Nick Watmore - 9/10

A strong contender for MOTM. Caused havoc all game (77 mins) before an unfortunate injury. Rest up.


Alex Guassardo - 7/10 

Great game from the returning Gog. 


Rich Shorey - 10/10 MOTM 

Was everywhere… including off his feet in a lost ruck. Solid kicking and support running which got us the try. Can down a pint of fosters quicker then you can say ‘Australia’. 


Matt Hanton - 7/10 

Led from the front as always. With turnovers like that, you’d think he was a prop… 


James Davis - 7/10

Made yards and some great catches under a lot of pressure. 


James Simpson - 7/10 

Runs it hard and straight. Extra bonus points for not getting concussed. 


John Chung - 7/10 

Anyone would think he'd been away at a fitness camp. Strong carries and tackles as always. 


Arran Ferguson - 11/10

Excellent Spotify DJ. Gradually stepping out of his Father's (5ft5) shadow.  


Kieran 'future Gogs captain' Murray - 1/10 

Slots into the number 15 shirt like it was tailored. Can’t see anyone knocking him out of that position. Loses points for not having Spotify premium. In other news, Virgin media have some excellent deals. 


FINISHERS


Tom Davies - 6.9/10

A natural born winger. Gracious Hackney winner, a less than gracious Welsh winner.


Ollie Ball - 7/10 

Came on and made some big hits on some even bigger guys.


Yass Salhi - 7/10 

Good to see him playing again. Bonus points for a decent kick at the right moment.


Ricky Dubery - 7/10

The definition of a super sub. Came on for a Gentleman’s 15. Split rucks and people. We’re not a club who do DOTD but if we were then you’d get it for singing Bonnie Tyler on the side of the pitch. 


NOT IN ATTENDANCE


Joe Mitchell -100/10 

A strong case of scapegoating a young Gog…a classical motivational speaker but laundry skills leave a lot to be desired (even if he didn't even do the laundry this week). 


Chris Reay. -7/10 

Oversharing of photos of his gammy foot from last week guaranteed a low score, despite non-attendance at the game.