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1st XV - Match centre

Enfield Ignatians
Hammersmith & Fulham
Sat 3 Feb TBC - London & SE Division - London 2 North West Full time


Writes Jon Landi

Ignatians came down to earth with a large bump against a fired-up Hammersmith & Fulham side, which hit the blue and golds for three tries in the opening quarter, as the faltering blue and golds were caught cold in every sense in the wet and the rain of Donkey Lane.

It was all rather baffling considering that this was the proverbial five pointer, but the stark fact remains that Ignatians have yet to beat Hammersmith at London Two level since the two sides first crossed swords in 2007. Yet again the blue and golds were unable to deal with the weight of history.

Captain Jake Bates didn’t mince his words and said: “Our skill level was poor and not on a par with the two previous games {against HAC and Harpenden). A win in our next game against Tabard is now paramount.”

1st XV v Hammersmith & Fulham 03/02/18
40 photos

The loss saw Hammersmith leapfrog Ignatians into ninth and, with 11th placed Harrow closing the gap to four points vis-à-vis Ignatians by beating London Nigerians, the blue and golds clearly have work still to do if they are to survive at this level.

Playing up the slope in the rain, Ignatians were their own worst enemies and they endured a nightmare opening quarter and, for their litany of sins which included missed tackles, losing a key turnover from a maul and dropping the ball in mid-field, they openly invited punishment on the scoreboard.

Consequently, the Hammers’ attacking game flourished and flying winger, James Lo, pounced for scores one and three. In between centre Tom Parkinson gave the brush-off to a clutch of would-be tacklers for the second score,

Ignatians’ response was far more timid. Captain Jake Bates rifled over a penalty after the Hammers
strayed off-side in front of the sticks, and when Ignatians’ big ball carriers did eventually get going, the ball was dropped near the line which was a failing that was to haunt the hosts throughout

The second-half was an improvement as Ignatians had the edge territorially. During one memorable
blindside probe, open-side Dave Gear brought play close to the Hammers’ line. Ignatians then unleashed a multi-phase attack which stretched the opposition in both directions. It ended all unceremoniously with a knock-on.

Ignatians continued to attack, with Aaron James-Nicholls, Man of the Match Charlie Hoy and Frank Antwi, making some sterling carries.

However, disaster struck again as Hammersmith, off limited possession, won a scrum close to the 22; the more fluid visitors banked right and good handling saw Keith Rogers beat the last line of defence for the bonus point score.

It was the worst possible outcome for Ignatians but the blue and golds continued to attack and, from an attacking lineout close to the line, they made some good carries before prop Lewis White eventually breached the line, but it was too little too late.

Coach Ali Cook conceded: “We didn’t work hard enough in the first-half and Hammersmith were better at holding-on to the ball. Their back three were under pressure the whole game but they chased hard when it came to it. We continued to battle hard in the second period and create opportunities – only to spill the ball. We need to hold onto the ball far better than that. Again, we discovered that there are no gimmes in this league.” more

Team: Carl Asare-Anderson, George Cox (Harry Massini 57m), Ethan Renny, Keir Bonnar, Hadee Fayaz, Jake Bates (C), Jordan Wilson, Lewis White (Charlie Hoy 26m), Ben Mills, Matt Pollard (Lewis White 48), Frank Antwi, Aaron James-Nicholls, Luke Stack, Dave Gear, Wes Warren (62m Liam Horn).
Scorers: Penalty: Jake Bates (13m) Try: 77m Lewis White.
Referee: D Swart.
Star Man: Charlie Hoy.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Hide the Attacker

Videos and photos

1st XV v Hammersmith & Fulham 03/02/18
40 photos

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. London Nigerian 21 55
7. Hackney 21 53
8. Hammersmith & Fulham 21 48
9. Hemel Hempstead 22 41
10. Enfield Ignatians 22 39
11. Harrow 22 23
12. Tabard 21 14

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