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  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2017-01-14 (2nd XV vs. Tring)

    Match Report: Hammers 2nd XV vs. Tring 2nd XV - Saturday 14th January Weather report: Cold as balls

    Try to Tring in first 2 minutes after they took advantage of a quick line out. Missed conversion, 5-0.

    Hammers then took possession and used it well, ATG, Williams and Conway making good ground and making themselves available for Rhino ball. We then gave away a silly penalty on their 10 meter line which they kicked for touch deep into our 22. Hammers fought back and regained possession to bring it back up the pitch but Ed Jessop then came off with injury to shoulder, the elusive Andrew Lynch reluctantly comes on as flanker.

    Some great defending and Tring penalties lead to hammers penalty kick attempt right in the middle of the pitch. Si lines up for the posts but unfortunately it goes wide. Still 5-0

    Tring discipline slips again and they lose the ref, 2 quick penalties put us back in their half. A 3rd penalty awarded to Hammers gets us right inside their 22, we kick for touch on the 5 to go for the try. Great pressure of the line-out and consistent attack but one loose ruck and the ball gets turned over…

    Chance, Tony and Si put a trio of devastating tackles in to slow their backs counter-attack.

    Tring discipline and handling errors ensue during their possession. 2 penalties doubled for talking back to the ref. Hammers take advantage and a driving mall pushes Tring back 20 metres into the heart of their 22, the hammers can smell blood…….. just as they are about to score, tragedy strikes and the ball is turned over again as a runner heads into contact without support. The piercing shrill cry of the whistle signals the half.

    Half time score 5-0

    Second half Tring turn on the pressure from the start with a good kick return and some other solid runs from big pack runners. This assault culminates in a try in the first minutes of the half. The referee (with selective vision) doesn’t see the try and awards Hammers a 22 drop out. Tring take the ball back from the 22 and despite a stalwart hammers defence, the continued pressure from Tring leads to a try in corner. With a well-placed conversion the scorer ticks over to 12-0

    Hammers fought back with patterned rugby for 5 mins then gave up a penalty and possession, Tring capitalise with a breakaway 55 metre run from their winger who offloads to their prop to score under the posts. An easy conversion makes it 19-0

    After the kick-off events repeat themselves, Hammers push up by playing the patterns and communicating well, then small errors cause us to lose momentum and possession just outside their 22. After the least-straight line out of the day (not called by the ref) Tring shift the ball wide and their winger scores in the corner. Tring then missed conversion but increase the lead to 24-0

    Hammers come back with a vengeance to score from a scrum, driving Tring back 5 metres with Billy ‘Smooth Cock’ Rylance touching down for the Try. Converted by Si from side-line 24-7

    Hammers use the momentum from the last try and push-back once more deep into Tring territory. The added pressure causes Tring to give up another penalty. With some great initiative and a tap and go penalty, Hammers score another try in the corner. Si converts again with another kick from the side-line 24-14

    Tring come out fighting after the kick-off and score a try after some quick running and great lines from their backs, another miss conversion by hitting the uprights brings the tally to 29-14

    After kick-off the Hammers are desperate to bring the fight to Tring and Tony B makes a lateral run from 25 metres out with quick offload to Eastoe on the 5 to run in the final score of the game. Si converts yet again from a very tough position leading to a final score of 29-21

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: News: International Tickets - 6 Nations 2017!

    The Club gets an allocation of tickets for all England’s home games at Twickenham. These tickets are only sold to paid up Club members.

    If you’d like to apply for tickets follow these simple instructions:

    1) Download the form below

    2) Pay the £110 deposit to the account specified on the form

    3) Email the form to tickets@fulhamrugby.co.uk

    **The deposit must be paid and the form submitted by Saturday 21st January 2017

    If you are successful you will be notified of the balance to be paid. Once the balance is paid you will be sent your tickets. If you are unsuccessful your deposit will be refunded to you.

    Click here

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: News: TRAINING CANCELLED - Thursday 12th January

    Please note that due to heavy rain and waterlogged pictures, Hurlingham Park has been closed tonight. Games are still on as normal for the weekend, however please check in with your captain Friday afternoon and keep an eye on the club’s social media.

    Thank you.

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2017-01-07 (6th XV vs. Streatham and Croydon)

    Its not often the Hammersmith and Fulham Destroyers take to the field. When they do it is for no other reason than to enjoy the game of rugby for what it is and to play for the club we all commit so much of out time to.

    On 7 Jan 17 the Destroyers took on Streatham and Croydon RFC (S&C). But this was a game like few others. The Destroyers - which lets face it are a 6ths team - took on a combined team of of the S&C 1st and 2nd. Because they are a 6th side, getting the correct number of players who can cover off all positions (in a sort of best fit scenario) is the first challenge of the day. On that day, 14 H&F players made themselves available for the long trip to south london. luckily, 2 ‘friends of hammers’ were available to take our number up to 16. Not a lot of redundancy when you are taking on a side that has definitely seen the inside of a gym a little more regularly.

    So what was the game plan. Simple - play for the man next to you and play for the love of the game. as the whistle went the destroyers were straight into action. From our Kick off our forwards recovered the ball cleanly from the air and ran straight into the opposing pack. After a little bit of a fight Will Duprez at 9 released the second phase, followed by more, as the forwards gradually started to work the ball down the center of the pitch towards the S&C line. After about 8 phases the drive came to an end with a fairly scrappy breakdown. this set the conditions for the rest of the game. First, S&C were shocked at how hard they had had to work to stop what was fairly simple methodical play that just kept gaining ground. And Second, both sides could see that the ref for the day was going to add a level of mystery to the game which made it difficult to predict the consistency of every breakdown.

    Unfortunately the first drive was one of the rarer occasions where H&F had ball in hand. it was now time to defend, starting with a set piece in the middle of the pitch on the S&C 22. With some fairly big runners it was fairly obvious where S&C were going to run the ball. As predicted they didn’t disappoint. But, most importantly neither did the the hammers defense. Crash ball number 1 - a massive Fijian number 8 off the back of the scrum running at Harry Heal at 10. what was the result? the Fijian on the floor with S&C desperate to try and recycle the ball to take advantage of a fairly broken hammers defensive line. Phase 2 - crash ball number 2. the S&C 13 running at Mark Bishop at 12. The 13 had more than a few Kg weight advantage on mark and in what was fairly loose play you would have expected him to have a fairly free run in the middle of the pitch. Well thats what he thought. however, mark with help from one of the ‘friends of hammers’ brought him down in midfield. By now the forwards were back at the breakdown. Superb line-speed was made to count as their attack petered out into nothing. yes they had made quite a few meters and yes they had been on the attack for a while, but weapons 1 and 2 for S&C had failed. with a few moments to pause for breath Charlie Hillman and Ed Nesbitt in the forwards engine room were key in keeping everyone focused on the job in hand.

    thats pretty much how the first 25mins went, fast attack play from the hammers gaining ground, a turnover and then back the other way. After 25mins the deadlock was broken. after a 5m srcum S&C were in. To be fair, they deserved it. they had been on the attack for a long time gaining ground slowly and had little to show for it. the S&C 10 (who had a good game) made the difference 7 points going into the restart.

    Heads still high from what was a good team performance the hammers were back at it again. this time, after some fairly scrappy play from both sides the S&C 10 decided to clear their lines and stick the ball in the air. what followed was a little bit of kicking tennis where no side really gained an advantage. braking the deadlock, mark bishop put the ball high over one of the wingers, who was covering for their 15 who by now was tired and out of position. the follow up was fast and the wing was under pressure. he didn’t take a clean catch and spilled the ball backwards. Mark was straight on it and kicked the ball through towards the posts a lucky bounce in his favor and he was over to level the score.

    The game carried on in much the same fashion. S&C getting frustrated and the hammers defense working tirelessly to cover gaps created by other players putting in some big hits to stop the S&C attacking flow. it was true Destroyers stuff watching men turn themselves inside out (and in the process regret a little too much Christmas excess) to help out their fellow hammer.

    Before the break S&C scored 2 more times. The first was a controversial decision from the ref, where even the try scorer thought he could have made a mistake. Caspar (who had an excellent game at 15 had a 1-1 challenge for the ball as he chased it back over the hammers try line. with both players reaching for the ball, it was clear to see that the S&C no 8 brought Caspar down before he had a chance to filly play the ball. Perhaps the ref can be forgiven as the difference in silhouette may have meant that he couldn’t see Caspar at all. Either way it was 14-7. next with ball in hand S&C started to run at what was a fairly solid hammers defense. they moved the ball back and forward across the pitch, though multiple phases but gaining very little ground. Play broke down on a number of occasions and the hammers scrum was repeatedly tested. the scrum did well and stole the ball on a number of occasions against the feed. in the end the pressure was made to count, with a defensive line that was out on its feet because of the work rate, S&A managed to create a 1 man overlap in the corner and went over for their 3rd try just before the half time whistle, the hammers came back. the ball chipped though the middle with an epic chase from Al Horner, putting the entire back three under pressure. in the panic the ball was fumbled allowing a string of hammers players to follow it under the sticks.

    Half time 19-12 to S&C

    At half time the hammers were regaining their breath and making their only substitution. Max another ‘friend of the hammers’ was on, and it has to be said gave everything for the club and had a great game. S&C on the other had made full use of their 24 man squad bringing in fresh legs in all departments. After the break possession was slightly more 1 sided, but that is not to say the hammers rolled over. Breaking up a few S&C trys (some of which were a little unfortunate for the defense) the hammers were tackling hard in all departments. At this stage it is worth singling out a few moments. When S&C had ball in hand all 15 liked to run with it. so when a fresh front row picked up some pace he posed a daunting target to bring down. Up steps Hamish Barker, who at half his size didnt give an inch, picked him up and dumped him backwards. Not only did it bring the drive to a stop but gave the forwards chance to get over it and steal the ball. Also not forgetting Caspar O’Keef. Countless times he was the last man in place to make a try saving tackle, which he never shied away from and always brought his man down. it was a goliath effort which definitely kept the hammers in the game on more than one occasion.

    Going into the last 10 mins S&C had had the balance of play with fresh legs and run in a number of trys. The score was 38-12. but with a little more of the ball the Destroyers finished the game on top. getting a chance to run at the opposition and making considerable distance. twice the drive came to a stop on the S&C 5M line, once held up over the line and an excellent run from Al Horner which needed 3 men to stop him right on the line meant that the momentum was with the hammers. 5 mins from time and another attack starting on the S&C 10M line the backs started to run. As ever Harry and Mark came under pressure from their backs with good line speed. they didnt panic and managed to move the ball freely to Ed Mackie on the wing. facing a drifting 13, a replacement wing who looked like he just missed the NFL draft and a 15 who was playing chose to the back line, he decided to kick the ball. Aided by the sticky conditions the ball came to rest a foot out from the S&C line and about 5M in from touch. in the foot race that followed 2 S&C players overshot the ball and fumbled it allowing ed the simplest of trys in the corner. Despite a few more minutes of play thats how the game ended 38-17 to S&C

    So what can be said of the Destroyers. A team that all hadn’t met each other before, let alone played together before came together to put in a performance that was clearly greater than the sum of its parts. People played hard simply for the love of the game. Yes we lost, but if there is such a thing, we lost well. we played a team that on paper should have had a winning margin of more than 40, in the end it was 21. Not bad for a 6th side taking on a big squad made up of the S&C 1st and 2nd. Simple tactics, playing in pods, tackling hard and playing for the team made what could have been a fairly depressing place to be a really great place to play some rugby.

    Players for notable comment: Both props (Will Gibson and Simon Khalil) for all the hard work they did up front, but actually proving quite capable with ball in hand. The second row, for showing a huge amount of leadership on the field and setting the example for tackling hard. Hamish Barker, playing out of position but making his presence felt at flanker. Mark Bishop, Harry Heal and Will Duprez as a trio who were under pressure but linked up well to make sure the hammers had a solid midfield. Caspar O’Keef for playing like 10 men twice his size.

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2017-01-07 (1st XV vs. Harpenden)

    Hammers poor run continues

    After a poor period the 1’s were keen to get back to winning ways and despite getting on the scoreboard first and having the better of the early exchanges it was Harpenden who ran out winners.

    The first 3 points came early to the Hammers, controlling possession well and earning a string of penalties saw them work up the field for John McManus to put the visitors 3 points ahead. It was a bright start that was all too quickly undone by some great back play by Harpenden. A cross field kick saw the winger gather the ball unopposed and the scrambling defence held him up short but only a few phases later Harpenden went in under the posts.

    The rest of the half remained scoreless but with significant contrasts. The Harpenden backline finding it much easier to get over the gain line but the Hammers forwards, arguably, getting the better of their opposition. Club stalwart Blyghton was forced off towards the end of the first half after injuring his thumb in the lineout which saw Tim Williams handed his 1’s debut.

    The second half saw the Hammers succumb to a combination of poor defence and good Harpenden play with them being the beneficiaries of some bounces of the ball and gain line success. Very quickly the Hammers found themselves down by 3 tries and needed to rally desperately.

    It took almost until the 70th minute for McManus to get through a gap and offload from the floor to Jacob Bray who went over from 5 yards out to bring the Hammers back to almost touching distance. It was not too be, again poor defence saw Harpenden run in their 4th try and secure the bonus point with the Hammers seeing another game without securing any points.

    J’Lo scored a consolation try but there was little to celebrate as the poor run continues.

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2017-01-07 (4th XV vs. Ealing)

    Hurlingham Park was to be the stage of the festively plump 4’s against Ealing. The fixture promised to be a contest of titanic proportion, with the Hammers narrowing missing out on the away leg 23-18.

    The kick off signalled the first home game of 2017 as Hammers soaked up early pressure, however the defence was tighter than chainmail which ultimately led to a Penalty to clear our lines. This led to Hammers first Attacking lineout which functioned like a well-oiled machine. This allowed Chris Eldridge to do his finest impressions of Beauden Barret as he orchestrated the back line as elegantly as the 4th movement in Handel’s Messiah. With strong running from the likes of Jay Patel and Tillbrook, the Hammers moved into the Ealing 22. With quick ball Will Finn was able to quickly feed Eldridge, Who threw a dummy that the Ealing 10 is still looking for, and slid through the Ealing defence to touch down for the first try of the afternoon.

    It was decided that Jack Petchy would be place kicker for the afternoon’s proceedings, with a right leg similar to that of the mighty Thor, he split the posts putting Hammers 7-0 up.

    After the restart the Hammers confidence began to show, with fast flowing hands from the likes of Harry Campell-Lamerton, to move the play into the Ealing 22. It was at this point disaster struck as, the added weight from food eaten over Christmas had taken its toll on Matt Jones’ shins. As he was down in, there was a sudden realisation that there was no front row replacements. However, Jones rallied and finished the game, saving the competitiveness of the scrum. Songs shall be sung of these heroics. After the rehydration of the team, the scrum gathered strength allowing Tillbrook to power over from 15 meters out. Petchy’s kick this time unfortunately, did not split the posts with the grace of his previous attempt. This put Hammers 12-0 up.

    After the restart Ealing rallied, with two scrums on hammers own 5 meters, the defence showed its resolve, winning a penalty to clear the danger. This allowed the backs to put on some beautiful flowing rugby with the likes of Harry, Patel and Alex making significant yards down the flanks. After two more phases Alex Jones hit a lovely line to put himself over the try line, and bring the game to 17-0 at halftime.

    After some rousing half-time words from the Wolf the Hammers were back in action. There was a lot of positive play in the half with the fresh subs making strong inroads. In the 60th minute the Hammers defence finally cracked and Ealing flexed their muscles and drove over for a short range try. 10 minutes later after strong hammers pressure Ealing scored again with a long range team try bring the scores to 17-12 in the 70th minute. The home fans were holding their breath. After the restart the hammers rallied and after Ealing fumbled their own lineout James Lalor pounced on a questionable loose ball and put the game to bed. With Petchy nailing the conversion outside finishing the game at 24-12.

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: News: Merry Lashmas Everyone!

    When: 17th December Time: 8pm Where: McGettigans

    What’s the theme? Well, Sexy Santas, Randy Reindeers, erotic elf! Or think outside the box with bubbles, angels, and 3 wise men (whether there is even one wise man within this club!! Or why not come as one of the animals in the manger? The options are endless! The club’s Christmas Party will be at Mcgettigans, who to encourage xmas cheer have booked a band!

    All welcome, so bring a mate who likes Lashmas, and we’ll see you there!

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: News: Christmas training

    Its not quite time for the Turkey just yet but the last session before Christmas will be Tuesday 20th. We then return to training on the 3rd January and then on Thursday as normal.

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-11-20 (u14s vs. Ruislip)

    The injury hit U14s managed to scrape together 16 fit bodies for the trip NW to Ruislip.

    We arrived to be greeted by the usual car park shenanigans, a locked changing room door and general indifference. All these problems quickly resolved themselves however, and the TLC were soon sampling the breakfast fayre (special mention for Rob for finding an option without processed meat)

    Rain was in the air and the wind was biting as the Hammers made the long walk to the back pitches. Warm ups and drills out of the way, the match kicked off at 11:02am.

    At 11:03 Hammers found themselves 5 - 0 down as one of the Ruislip centres showed a Taz-like turn of speed and stepping to blast over from 40 yards off first phase ball. Hammers caught cold like a boxer still rising from his stool at the opening bell

    From the restart we finally got hold of the ball, but conceded a penalty for not releasing. Ruislip kicked to touch, secured the line out and span it wide on a couple of occasions. Our defensive line held well, but we eventually ran out of tacklers and their flanker barrelled over from close range. 10 - 0 to Ruislip

    Looking for a quick response the Hammers won the restart, recycled the ball beautifully and after 4 or 5 phases moved the ball smoothly along the line to the 22’, but sadly freezing cold fingers meant final passes just wouldn’t stick. Harry then decided on a more direct approach and a couple of trademark charges took us up to the try line. Ruislip forwards were handling in the ruck like lecherous octopuses peep penalty to Hammers. Noah taps quickly and over for a close range try. 10 - 5 to Ruislip.

    More was to follow - Rex caught the kick off and made 30 yards with some impressive running. Great support from forwards and backs took us past the 10 metre line, where a short pass put Victor clean through with a run to the line. The Ruislip full back just caught up, but the Hammers arrived quickly and moved the ball to Reuben who spotted space on the blind side and nipped over. 10 - 10 and the Hammers were back in the game.

    With not much time left in the half Hammers engineered a comedy of errors near their own line. The ball was juggled, pushed, nudged and eventually touched down behind the try line. Sadly by a Ruislip hand. 17 - 10 down at half time.

    During the 2nd half my notes get very brief as my fingers were feeling they could snap off with the cold. The first real action was a huge run from Constant up to the 22’, but support was slow and the chance went begging.

    The first three scores when they came, were all for Ruislip, two of them on the counter attack, including one with some outrageously lucky bounces from fly-hacks. 36 - 10 down at this stage, a harsh score line as the game was not far off being even in terms of pressure and possession.

    Hammers scored twice more with strong runs from Harry and a slick back move nearly sending Tom over in the corner - in both cases Noah finishing the moves with short runs (and trademark hand offs on the fly half who must still have palm marks on his upper torso as I type)

    In between Hammers scores, Ruislip’s big centre scored a length of the field effort slicing through 5 or 6 tackles to score a great solo effort. “Great team try” announced the home coach to bemused grins from the TLC.

    Final score 20 - 43 - an unfair reflection of the game, but perhaps a lesson for the Hammers about how to turn pressure into points.

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-11-06 (u14s vs. Old Albanian)

    Unknown territory - Old Albanians away was new ground for the Hammers U-14s this season. With Albanian phrase books packed and a wallet full of leks we headed North.

    We arrived at their immaculate grounds only to be confronted by a huge queue of cars trying to get in, scenes vaguely reminiscent of the Westfield slip road on 24th December. Before long cars were being abandoned on patches of spare grass everywhere, but before you could say “car boot sale”, the Hammers had grouped safely in changing room 6, and the TLCs had safely negotiated the stairs up to the bar.

    After a brisk warm up we were ready to kick off on time at 11:00 sharp.

    From the kick off and through to the 10’ mark OA put us under heavy pressure, with a clear game plan to spread the ball wide. The Hammers defence held firm with Tom, Victor and Rafa all tackling hard and forcing knock-ons in our 22. However we failed to clear our lines and were pinned down deep in our own half. The relentless pressure eventually paid off for OA who won a 5 metre scrum, from where their no. 8 picked up from a retreating pack and ghosted over. With their outhalf adding the extras we were 7-0 down, a fair reflection of the match so far.

    From the kick-off OA gathered cleanly, but Bertie “the flash” was on them like a ….errr….. flash with a thumping tackle to force a Hammers line out and our first territory of the game. A clean win at the line out and the ball was whipped cleanly to Taz for his first big carry of the game. A characteristic strong pacy run through some tackles and he was away down the touchline, but was brought down by a strong tackle from the opposition right winger and collapsed in obvious pain. That was the end of the game for young Tsielepis, we all wish him a speedy recovery.

    At the restart (a scrum to OA) they moved the ball repeatedly across the pitch and after four phases the Hammers ran out of tacklers and their left winger nipped over in the corner. 12 - 0 down and Taz in pain - “bad times”

    Some scrappy play at the restart saw errors from both sides, with a held-up maul giving OA another attacking scrum. Although the Hammers pack was marching them backwards at every set piece, the 1.5 metre rule meant we couldn’t turn the dominance into a turnover, and with the ball moved quickly up and down the backline again, their slick handling ended up with their winger over in the corner again. 17- 0 at half time.

    Hammers kicked off the second half, and Harry burst forward to win one of his many turnovers at the breakdown, and with OA blown up for handling at the ruck, Hammers kicked to the corner in search of early points. A clean catch at the line out and the forwards mauled over the line for a try, with Bertie coming up with the pill and a grin wider than a Hammers club tie. At 17 - 5 we were back in the game.

    The next phases of play in my notes reflect errors and scrappy play. From a dropped ball in midfield, again OA show some silky back play to give their winger half a yard of space which he galloped through for another try from their wide men. Extras added and we were 24 - 5 down.

    OA dropped the restart and from our scrum Noah had his first real lung-busting-hand-off-everyone run, and with support arriving we were somehow held up over the line. Amazing this then happened twice more, and with OA being warned about repeat offending (offsides and ruck handling) we looked odds on to score. Somehow OA held firm, and worse was to follow when their backs pushed up aggressively and picked off a midfield pass to run to the other end and score against the run of play. Conversion added and we were 31 - 5 down.

    However the last word was to be ours - one of their demon wingers was well tackled by Reuben in open play, and with Harry snaffling the ball at the breakdown we moved the ball out to Victor to make huge ground down the left wing. From an attacking penalty we again kicked for position, and after claiming the line out, Noah smashed his way over from 20 yards out. 31 - 10 felt a lot better than 31 - 5 and the referee blew for full time.

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