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  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-10-22 (1st XV vs. Tabard)

    Hammersmith 45 - 10 Tabard

    Hurlingham Park was the venue for a key clash between two old rivals at a defining point in the season.

    The fixture promised to be a great contest, with Hammersmith beginning to show some real form (+83PD in the last two games) after a mixed start to the season, and Tabard always a challenging opponent with a physical pack and a fly-half able to punish with the boot from great range.

    To add to this, a strong home crowd had assembled to watch, boosted by the presence of Club President Jason Leonard and a particularly boozy old boys’ pre-game lunch. Even Alex Dudley (who?) was in attendance, and proceeded to tell anyone that would listen that this had nothing to do with the social media roasting of the previous week.

    The first twenty minutes of play proved to be a cagey encounter, with nerves and some questionable decisions featuring in the play of both teams. A converted penalty by Tabard proved to be the only thing separating the two sides at the end of the first quarter.

    This penalty proved to be the spark the home side needed to begin controlling the game better and venturing forward with more purpose through a number of dangerous forays into the opposition’s 22. Whilst the pressure was beginning to show in Tabard’s game, it was Hammersmith who would be hurt first by this attacking intent as centre Mark went down with a torn hamstring. After a strong debut the week before and the ability to actually kick at goal, everyone on and off the pitch was saddened to see Mark crying his eyes out on the turf. Everyone except for CCS on the sideline that is, who sources report chinned his beer and began singing “one more season, one morrrrre seaaaason for me”.

    The injury proved to be a turning point in the game, with Stephen “the fire marshall” Goode and James “much stronger than Tony B” Lo moving inwards to form a new centre partnership. Sporting a new pair of contrast colour boots, the pressure was on JLo to perform and he did, powering through the opposition backline to start the Hammersmith points fest. More great work from the forwards saw Hammersmith back in the opposition’s half quickly, with “Big Red” Bowen rounding the opposition full-back to finish off a swift backs’ move. One neutral spectator commented that the Tabard 15 should probably spend less time working on his cheap shots at the breakdown, and more time learning how to tackle.

    With the conversions and a penalty added by Keith, Hammersmith went into the break in a strong position.

    The second half began much as the first had ended, with the Hammersmith pack showing their technical superiority at set pieces and the backs demonstrating their clinical efficiency in open play.

    Ryan, on as a replacement wing following the injury and causing the opposition constant trouble, marked his second cap for the first team with a well-deserved try, showing great pace to finish in the corner.

    The next phase of play saw another Ryan, the tight chino’d Aussie one, stamp his mark on the game. After a period of sustained pressure in the opposition’s half, he expertly put Richard “DJFC” Horsley through a hole for him to register his first try in over three seasons. Fully aware that this record had now ended, the crowd went wild and joined CCS, who was still singing at Mark’s expense, in celebration. With Richard finally back amongst the spoils, it seems that it really is only James Darrall who is struggling to score at the moment.

    Sensing the dehydrational effects Darrall’s dry patch was having on the home side, the Hammersmith coaching staff replaced him with Corban for the last quarter. This would prove to be a smart choice as the back row’s hard running and pace was rewarded with a well-taken breakaway try.

    Heading into the final ten minutes, the pace of the game slowed as both sides began to show the signs of tiredness you’d expect from such a physical and high tempo encounter. That however did not stop Aussie Ryan, previously try assistor, running an extra yard from his already grossly offside position to intercept a wayward Tabard pass and cross the white line from 40 yards out. Keith added the extras once more.

    The final moments of the game belonged to Tabard. Having put down their handbags and ceased their constant complaints to the referee, they actually had a go at the Hammersmith try line. After an afternoon of defensive impenetrability, the Hammersmith try line was finally breached with the Tabard number thirteen latching onto a loose ball to score a deserved try.

    All in all, it was a good result for Hammersmith against a tough opponent. Although far from a perfect display, Hammersmith will be pleased to have achieved a 45-10 win with so many things still to work on.

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-10-16 (Ladies XV vs. Chesham)

    As the grey clouds rolled in over Hurlingham Fortress the Hammers took to the field to face Chesham. We quickly got a taste of their power when a few penalties were given away early on while both teams got used to the ref’s interpretation of the offside line, and this resulted in several scrums in quick succession. Their well-drilled and imposing pack put a lot of pressure on ours, but we pushed back hard and kept them at bay.

    Our first try came about 10 minutes in when we managed to break through their defence, and a last minute cheeky offload to Ezzy, who had run a fantastic supporting line, allowed her to dive triumphant over the try line. 5-0.

    Shortly after, the heavens opened, and while the supporters retreated under the cover of the pavilion, play continued, albeit somewhat scrappier than before due to the slippery wet ball. We spent a good proportion of this time within our own 22, defending strongly as a united line, but eventually Chesham broke through to score. 5-5.

    It wasn’t too long until we found ourselves back in their half though, and working through the phases to get into their 22. A Chesham scrum signalled the final phase of the half, and as one of their players took the ball into contact, she was met by Ella and Alex, and shortly after, most of the Hammers pack. Together, we turned the ball over, and mauled from the 22 to the 5, before sending the ball out the Leah, who deposited it over the line, squarely between the posts. A great kick from Sophie left us in the lead at half time 12-5.

    The second half saw us gain increasingly more control and momentum, and it didn’t take long before Leah scored yet another try after some brilliant play from the entire team, moving the ball through the phases encroaching on their territory the whole way. Chesham continued to fight back hard, and had a lot of strong forward ball carriers capable of breaking through our defence, had we given them half a chance. All that defensive and tackle work paid off, and that chance never came for them, although Leah did manage to flatten one of their smaller girls to the resounding “ooooff” of the supporters before she was taken off the field.

    Our penultimate try came from Sophie, who rescued the ball from Alex’s hands as she was held up in a tackle, then darted through the gap left by their defenders to place the ball down by the post, and then casually proceeded to convert her try, giving us a further 7 points. 24-5.

    With four minutes to go it looked like we were going to struggle to get our bonus point. With great spirit, we kept possession, and rucked hard, protecting that ball with all our might. In the final phase, the ball was shipped through the hands out to Lizzy on the wing, who sprinted to carry it into the corner and over the line as the whistle blew. Emma was awarded the opportunity to convert, and managed a dazzling kick that went nowhere near the posts. Final score 29-5.

    Forwards of the match went to Carola and Fred for great rucking, tackling and generally making life extremely difficult for Chesham. Back of the match went to Sophie for gallantly returning to the backline, and executing some great carries, running some fab lines, putting in some hard hits, and scoring a try and two conversions! Most importantly of all, we totally demolished them in the boat race (thank you Ella for taking Sophie’s pint for her)!

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: News: Membership subs are now due

    Subs are now past due and Mat Jones is on the hunt. The fees are the same as last year - £100 and you have a few ways to pay.

    1) Cheque: apparently we accept these and they still exist

    2) Card payment: so get to training

    3) Bank Transfer: details below

    Bank HSBC

    Sort code 40 07 04

    Account H&FRFC Community

    Account no 81693336

    Reference SURNAME + MEM

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-10-09 (Ladies 2nd XV vs. Barnes)

    Sunday saw the mighty 2s, all 13 of us, take on Barnes and their many many substitutes in our first match of the season. We started off with a spirit and intensity that came from our hard work in training and the sheer determination in the face of an army the size of Barnes.

    Ayala scored first putting Barnes on the back foot, followed by Leah 10ish minutes later. We worked our way up the pitch again but Barnes caught wind of the change in direction and took the chance to run in a try to make it 10-7 at the end of the first of three 25 minute periods of play.

    The second period saw us show the same level of intensity, although waning at times but still we held on to the lead. Rucking and handing off our way back up the pitch, resulting in Leah running in her second try and the one and only Alison Fong running in her first try. But Barnes had answers of their own in the form of 3 tries and one conversion. We finished the second period at 24-20down. The third period we knew we were down but the same spirit and intensity we started with came back and we worked hard to deny Barnes time and time again. Barnes scored and converted for the last time making the score 29-20 to them but the mighty 2s weren’t done yet. We dug in and gave it our all, scoring our last try in the process and came tantalisingly close to scoring again to take the game but alas it wasn’t meant to be.

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-10-08 (2nd XV vs. Chobham)

    Hammers entered the game strong with 7 points up within the first few minutes but Chobham hit back, 7-7 after 5 mins. Another try followed for Hammers after interlinking forward play, inside ball from Moylan to Fitzpatrick to crash over for Hammers 2nd try, 14-7. Penalties and Drop goals lead to Hammers edging in front, but Cobham also hitting back with strong hands and running lines in the back line and Hammers were under pressure. A Yellow card for Hammers 13 for deliberate knock down saw big defensive effort hold out until another Yellow card issued to Hammers 6, for late/no arm tackle 5 mins before Half time.

    Hammers down to 14 men entering the break, and then into the second half. Hammers stuck to the structures, and results came. With Hammers pushing into the lead and back up to 15 men, they took control of the game. Line outs were kept simple but consistent, still controlling the game. Cobham scored other tries, narrowing the gap however their discipline cost them with penalties being rewarded by 3 points each time, one sealing the win 2 mins before full time Hammers were up by 10 points. Final score 30-20 to the Home side, up the Hammers!

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: News: International Tickets - Autumn Internationals 2016!

    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

    The deposit must be paid and the form submitted by Sunday 16th October 2016

    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.

    You can also pay your club membership fee as part of this process if you have not yet paid for this season… clever, huh?

    Click here

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-10-02 (Ladies XV vs. Beckenham)

    It was a beautiful day at Hurlingham Park, and although the preceding day’s rain hadn’t softened the ground as much as we’d hoped the Hammers were ready for action. From the first whistle we got a taste of the physicality of Beckenham, who were very strong and speedy to the breakdowns, and ensured that we fought hard from the word go. Within the first ten minutes a kick from Beckenham was scooped up by Poppy (welcome back Poppy!) who managed to sprint past four players before being recklessly shoulder barged by the Beckenham 9, knocking the wind right out of her sails (and her lungs). This earned number 9 a yellow card and ten minutes’ rest in the sin bin.

    Play continued, with many scrums, and even more rucks. When Beckenham gave away a penalty for hands in the ruck, a quick passage of play enabled us to gain lots of ground and get to their 5 metre line. A beautiful move from Becki nipping round an unguarded ruck allowed her to score her first (of hopefully many) tries for the Hammers right under the posts. The conversion sadly was narrowly missed. 5-0.

    After the re-start we were put under pressure as Beckenham had a bash at a kicking game, but unfortunately for them Poppy at fullback, supported by Luc on the wing ensured that no advantage was gained from those. Though they had many opportunities to score by getting the ball out wide, we remained strong in defence and put in some big hits, to make them think twice about trying that route again. Within our 22, Luc beautifully intercepted a pass between their centres to carry the ball a further 10 metres away from the danger zone.

    Their try came not too long before half time when they ran through a gap caused by one of our injured players who was still on the ground as play continued. 5-7 to Beckenham at half time.

    As time wore on Beckenham became more physical, and with that, less disciplined. Many penalties were given away for a selection of offenses including hands in the ruck, not releasing, and in at the side. Sadly, with so many changes to our scrum, we were unable to capitalise on these opportunities and convert them into points. Serious kudos to HP who managed to play every single position in the tight five over the course of the 80 minutes.

    Eventually they did manage to break through our defence, with a strong run followed-up with a conversion earning them another 7 points. 5-14. Although we worked hard for the remaining 20 minutes, no more opportunities came our way.

    Back at The Fest, the most important battle was fought. I’m pleased to report that we won the boat race, leaving Beckenham behind in a haze of cherry-infused beer. Pints were awarded to Becki for her first outing and first try in a Hammers shirt – fantastic work! Forward of the match went to Helen for great consistency and pressure for the whole 80 minutes. Back (and other Forward) of the match went to the Tauchert duo – Lucinda for having an epic return game, with some fantastic sprints, great defence, and an incredible interception, and Sophie (who was actually present to attempt downing the pint) for her excellent scrummaging, rucking, line-out steals, backline helping, and all-round awesomeness

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-10-01 (1st XV vs. Harrow)

    Hammers travelled to the end of the Jubilee Line on Saturday to face Harrow. The conditions were perfect with Hammers debutants ‘Jeremy’ Corban Barbara and Oli ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ Chambers keen to impress. And impress they did early doors when the Teenage Dirtbag launched a tidy box, code named Miss Badders, high into Harrow territory. ‘Jeremy’ Corban, running on 7 months of booze and pure adrenalin, snapped up the loose ball and Hammers shifted it wide where James Lo latched onto a cheeky chip through from Tony Bryant. Unfortunately this was the high point of an inept first half performance. Harrow’s first try came when a mistake in the backs led to a dropped ball; the Harrow centre kicking through for a simple score. Discipline quickly became a problem allowing a three pointer straight from kickoff, 8-5 to Harrow. Two further tries were conceded in the first half through further sloppy play and indiscipline, Hammers trailed 22-5 at the break. Hammers started the second half with renewed vigour having received some straight forward advice from Coaches Dave and Ronan - ‘please try anything that we’ve done in training ever’ probably sums it up. Harrow were under pressure from the kickoff as Hammers started to play with more control and direction with James Lo and Teenage Dirtbag prominent. Hammers quickly pegged on try back through ‘Big Red’ Huw Bowen and Harrow started to wobble - their whoops and hollers significantly quieter and less convincing. Hammers clearly grew in confidence spending significant periods camped in the Harrow half before Big Red crashed over again - conversion landed to make the score 22-17 - game on. For the last 15 minutes Hammers knocked on the Harrow door with Jeremy ‘Corban’ stretching over only to realise he had scored on the 5 metre line. Shortly afterwards Si Doherty looked like he’d won it with a weaving run through the Harrow defence, only for the ref to disallow it for apparent obstruction. Several 5 metre scrums followed but some Tom Foolery from Harrow kept Hammers out. With moments to go Harrow delivered a sucker punch to finish things off 27-17. On the final play, chasing 2 potentially valuable bonus points, Second row Roach mirrored Jeremy’s earlier error and collapsed a Hammers mail 5 yards short thinking he was over the line; Tim Man duties were shared. All in all Hammers didn’t deserve to win after the first half performance, but did show considerable guts to get back into it.

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-10-01 (4th XV vs. Kilburn Cosmos)

    After a month of away trips, the 4s convened at Hurlingham for their first home fixture of the season. On the back of last week’s victory against London Cornish confidence was high but despite some good early defensive efforts it was the visitors who opened the scoring with a try in the left hand corner. The reversal on the scoreboard was compounded by early loss of hooker Simon Newing with an ankle injury which forced a reorganisation in the front row with Ferdinand Floto stepping off the bench to make his Hammers debut at loose-head prop, while Kev Austen stepped to his right at scrum time and took on the responsibility of throwing into the lineout.

    Despite these initial setbacks, the Hammers settled and began to play with some structure, going through a series of phases and getting close to the Kilburn line with winger Alex Horner falling just short of getting the home side back on terms after bouncing a couple of tacklers down the right wing. However, it was the forwards who eventually made the breakthrough getting back on terms through another close range try from flanker Will Parker doing a fine impression of arch try-poacher Neil back popping up at the back of a well-constructed driving maul for the second week running. It soon got even better following another strong forward drive after Austen had combined well with Bob Davies and a catch and rive from the lineout had the Kilburn defence back-pedalling. However it was full-back Calvin Buttimore who took the plaudits after spotting a mis-match down the blind side and feeding Leon Joseph who streaked away down the left to give the Hammers the lead.

    A 10-5 lead at the break was quickly reduced when Kilburn kicked a penalty in front of the posts after a rare moment of indiscipline. Hammers then suffered two big injury blows with Nick Powell who shortly before hand had put in arguably the biggest hit of the day to halt the opposing centre in his tracks, limping off with a knee injury. Ferdinand Floto also had to cut short his debut with a similarly painful looking leg knock forcing another reorganisation in the front row and seeing further reshuffles behind. With Matt Durrant having already moved from centre to the back row, he showed his full range of talents and versatility stepping forward to the hooker position with Austen moving back across to resume his contest with the opposition tight head, Andrew Tilbrook, normally a rock at number 8 shuffled further forward and Jack Petchey stepped up from the three quarter line to the flank to get a taste of the action.

    Despite a lack of familiarity, the Hammers showed great spirit to rally and turn the tide of what had been a second period where the visitors had enjoyed the lions share of the possession and territory. With only two points in it, fly half Harry Heal Petchey combined to hold up a surge to the line by a Kilburn forward. From the resulting scrum the Hammers pack got a good nudge forward, replacement scrum half Hugh Fickling made a real nuisance of himself in defence, and the ball fell loose to Leon Joseph who stepped away from a would-be tackler and then found a gear or two more than most playing or watching will ever have, streaking clear of the defence and with the only resistance being from the air itself as he reached top speed and towards the visitors’ line for a spectacular breakaway try.

    With more of a cushion, the makeshift pack began to exert some real control at the set piece. Bob Davies now leading the lineout with increasing assurance while Sam Eastoe disrupted the opposition ball effectively in the air as putting in his usual shift on the ground. It was the scrum though where the Hammers really began to dominate, shoving Kilburn off their own ball and earning penalties and field position from where Heal and Joseph combined to send Calvin Buttimore away down the left, although the full back still had much to do to finish the job. Replacement backs Tom Parkinson and Oli Van Dongen almost combined to great effect soon after with the former’s offload in the tackle falling just short of the supporting winger. The final word though went to Will Finn who after a classy outing in the 9 shirt showed pace and strength in the centre channel to power over. Hugh Fickling landed the second of two successful conversions to give the scoreline a more emphatic look than the balance of the game suggested. Indeed, had it not been for some earlier defensive heroics from the injured Powell, Andrew Tilbrook and some fine last ditch tackles from the Hammers full back, the result could well have been in the balance in the closing stages.

    Nonetheless the 4s can take much from this game, not least their resilience in defence and the quality of the execution shown by the back line in scoring three second-half tries. New ‘backs coach’ Nick Emmett will point to the influence he was having on this aspect of the game, although whether this was as a result of inspired coaching or an absence from the field is open to debate.

    Final score, Hammers 29 Kilburn 8.

    Tries: Parker, Joseph 2, Buttimore, Finn. Con: Fickling 2 MoM: Calvin Buttimore Tin Man: Mike Spurgeon (captain taking one for the team). Debut: Ferdinand Floto

  • Fulham and Hammersmith Rugby: Match report: 2016-09-25 (Ladies XV vs. Tonbridge Juddians)

    It was a glorious day for rugby and for uncovering the great mystery of Tonbridge Juddian, newcomers to our league. Hammers were unphased and keen for an exciting match despite TJs competing with us for the league’s top-spot by being undefeated with bonus points in all games to date, and the day certainly did not disappoint.

    Hammers started off very strongly from the kick-off, with some great runs from Hannah at 12 and Leah at 10, followed by a cheeky offload to Alex at 13 to score the first try in the opening minutes. This was beautifully converted by Hannah from the sideline to put Hammers up 0-7.

    Unfortunately, after such a great start, it took us a while to find our rhythm, and TJs took full advantage of this by using their very strong runners to dash through some gaps, and around the outside, scoring two tries in quick succession, both of which were easily converted by their number 13. TJs lead 14-7.

    Hammers started to push back in the last 10 minutes of the first half, with some excellent scrummaging and fantastic rucking, making them wait a long time and work very hard before their third and final try of the half, which was also converted. 28-7. After giving away a much-awaited penalty for one of their forwards repeatedly smashing through the line-out too early, TJ’s were on the back foot again as we executed some textbook backs’ play, getting the ball out to Charlotte on the wing who smashed over the line to score our second try. The final phase was Hannah’s second incredible kick, against the wind, from the sideline, which sailed perfectly through the posts, much to the disbelief of all watching. Half time score TJs 28-14 Hammers

    After some magical energising oranges courtesy of Mrs T at half-time Hammers returned to the pitch with renewed flair and panache. We dominated the territory and spent the majority of the time in their half, working beautifully as a team to secure ruck after ruck, and getting some great backs balls in there too. TJs certainly felt the pressure and started getting a bit sloppy, giving away a few penalties for high tackles in quick succession. They were completely befuddled by a dazzling display of dummies and fabulous running lines courtesy of Hannah, who quickly earned us a further three tries and one more conversion, bringing the Hammers into the lead at 28-31. We were sadly denied two further tries that were deemed “held up” from the wonderful Ella, who somehow managed to continuously switch between hooking and running the centre lines in the blink of an eye.

    Just as we were getting comfortable in the lead, and looking increasingly menacing, Leah and Fred both decided to tackle the same TJ ball carrier. The theory was good, but the reality was like Clash of the Titans meets the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. They managed to bash their heads together, taking each other out with rivulets of blood streaming from both their foreheads, while the oppo escaped unscathed. After a short(ish) field hospital interlude involving lots and lots of bandages (it’s hard to bandage heads), play resumed. Sadly with or momentum gone, TJs seized the opportunity to allow their 15 to sneak through the middle and sprint up to our try line to secure them another 7 points after an easy conversion. 35-31. In the dying minutes, an awkward bounce off a kick which was scooped up by their 14 allowed them to score a final try, and giving them the victory at 42-31. A tough day at the office, but we look forward to meeting them again in March.

    Forward of the match went to Lauren, for some very strong ball-carrying, great rucking, and excellent scrum work. Back of the match went to Hannah for being all over the pitch, managing to wiggle and dummy her way through an apparently solid wall of defenders, and for some seriously solid kicking. We welcomed two new players to the pitch for us this game also, so some lovely welcome pints went to Helen and Lizzy. Sadly we didn’t win the boat race, but TJs did arrange some rather dubious drinker nominations which looked somewhat tactical, so we shan’t read too much into that.

    You will all be pleased to know that following a fun-filled trip to hospital (or in Fred’s case, two hospitals) both casualties were stitched back together and are already well on their way to recovery.

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