Old Habs travelled to Old Priorians for what has been a tough fixture to predict in recent years. The past two seasons had seen both sides win the home fixture and lose the away, so Habs were trying to change the record and continue their bright start to the season.
Spurred on by England’s win against the All Blacks and by the travelling supporters braving the rain, Habs got off to a good start with captain Whitsy touching down with a darting run from the back of a scrum. McGee converted. 7-0 Habs. However the lead didn’t last long and some neat handling from the home side saw them go in out wide to make the score 7-7. An early sign that if Habs gave OPs a sniff then they would take their chances.
As the rain started to pour, Old Habs started to come into their own with some forward dominance. The scrum was going well and the pack started to make more and more yards from the short runners off nine and plenty of pick and go's. But it was Ben Lewry who stuck his hand up for a big charge and step off as he crashed over the line for his first try of the season for the 1s, to send Habs into a 14-7 lead.
This lead was extended shortly after kick off with the referee awarding a series of scrum pens to Habs. The front row then put the squeeze on well with the Sando brothers getting into their opposite numbers supported well by Harvey and JP in the row. This let Jonny Gatus, who was standing in at 8 for Tommy the Gunn, flop over for the third try of the game. 21-7.
Habs controlled possession well and kept up the intensity in defence but were chasing the all important fourth and bonus point try. After a period of sustained pressure Habs were awarded a penalty in the opposition 22. Habs opted for the scrum and again this proved to be the area in with OPs had no answer. After a few resets and good patience from the visitors, Habs were able to walk over for the bonus point try with George Seabrook touching down from the base. McGee added the extras.
Credit then to OPs, who came back with a well worked try which was finished by their dangerous number 12, at 14-28 to Habs, the game still felt it could easily get into nervous territory. These nerves however were soon calmed after a galloping run from the semi-retired Simon Miller, rolling back the years and hitting a nice wide gap to then feed the excellent Adam Dye as Habs again knocked on the door. An infringement from the OPs back row gave Habs a pen infront with about 5 mins to go. Ian 'the length' McGhee promptly knocking it over and making the points safe for Habs.
This made the final score 14-31. A bonus point win for Old Habs in what had been a long opening start to the season with 8 straight games (and we still don’t train).
The players will look back on October satisfied with 16 points from a possible 20 but knowing that their is room for more as they move into the November fixtures against sides above them in the table.