With winter finally arriving on the last weekend of October, the merry men of Old Haberdashers ventured towards the end of the Met Line to face Ruislip. The team were in good spirits and were keen to continue their impressive start to the season.
Ignoring the fact that opening the kick off didn’t go the required 10 metres, Habs started in a similar vein to the previous couple of weeks. The first scrum, bolstered by the return of Sam Fisher, went forward at a rate of knots which was even more impressive given that Ruislip’s tight head probably weighed more than Monkey Taj the entire Habs Back line put together. Given the dominance up front it didn’t take long for number 8, James Clark, to make a break and put Charlie Johnson in for his 6th try of the season. More sustained pressure from Habs led to a yellow card to the Ruislip tight head with the resulting scrum being marched over for a penalty try.
Habs kept the momentum going with some fantastic phase play with chances being created almost every time McGhee, Miller and Downie touched the ball. Points followed with Josh Downie and Harry Briffitt both finishing off well-worked phase play. Everything Habs touched looked like it was going to end in a try with some great off loading and hard running lines. Even the latest addition to the Habs lineout repertoire, which was devised in the warm up with the sole intention of giving our skipper, Jonny Whittle, a chance to score his first try of the season went close. So close that Fisher had started his try scoring scream of delight only to be stopped in his tracks as Whittsy had failed to get the ball down. Even with that slight set back Habs went into the half time huddle 33 – 0 up.
Playing up the hill in the 2nd half Habs didn’t start as well as the 1st. Ruislip had their tails up and started to play some good stuff. Habs did their best to help them by giving away lots of penalties but Ruislip finally scored from short range and quickly added a 2nd to give them a glimmer of hope.
That hope was quickly extinguished as Habs returned to how they played in the first half and the tries followed. Briff went over for his 2nd, as did Downie. With the Ruislip front row completely decimated and all on the sidelines, scrums went uncontested. The energy that a couple of Ruislip forwards saved by not having to run backwards at every scrum started to be used by starting fights at every opportunity. This didn’t stop Habs finishing the scoring with two more tries with Cian and the Elk both going over. Elk scoring his 1st of the season to make up for having a 10 minute break earlier in the 2nd half for being the fall guy for the team’s continuous infringements at the break down.
With the added pressure for the man of the match to be a comic genius with the written word too much for James Clark, he decided to spend the last 5 minutes of the game on the sidelines having pretended to be a hard man and scrapping with his opposite number. Probably a good thing as he hasn't made his Mum laugh since his last haircut in 2005.
With the score at the final whistle 55-12 it was another job well done. With our long awaited return to Croxdale Road next week there is a lot to look forward to.