Harlequin Amateurs got the New Year off to a bang on Saturday with a comprehensive 7-55 victory over Hackney RFC 3s at Spring Hill. Harlequins were greeted off the train with the news that Hackney couldn’t raise a front row, and had opted to start the game with a 14 point deficit, rather than play the game a man down.
Quins started the match with an intensity and precision that hadn’t been on display in previous games and it didn’t take long for the visitors to be in control of most aspects of the game. Within the first 15 minutes Quins had taken full advantage of their dominance with scores from Chris Addis, Kay Frazer and Charlie Blower, two of which were converted by George Jaques, giving Quins an early 0-33 lead (with the 14 point head start).
At this point, it’s fair to say that the game started to slip into a stop/start affair with the referee blowing for penalties again and again which stifled both teams and prevented the game from really catching alight. This did, however, seem to suit the home team better than Quins and Hackney found themselves on the scoresheet courtesy of a well worked score from their winger. With the conversion made, the half ended at 7-33.
The second half began in the same way as the first, with Quins dominating possession, aided by stand out performances from Danny O’Connor, Harry Stark and Shamim Eceolaza at fullback. Alec Smail ended his try duck with a quick brace of tries early on in the half, both great finishes in the left corner. It was at this point that the game again descended into a frustrating affair with Quins conceding in excess of twenty “penalties” that stopped every attack in its tracks and allowed Hackney to clear their lines any time Harlequins threatened the try line.
Two further scores were managed in the game, however. The first from “finisher” Aaron Addis who was first to react to a loose pass with a hack through and showed a great bit of footballing skills to dribble the ball over the line before diving on it to score. The second coming via Sham who scored in the right corner to cap another impressive shift.
The final whistle blew to give Quins a 7-55 win.
With such a large squad, it was always going to be hard to choose a Man Of the Match, especially with a number of guys putting their best foot forward. George had a typically good game at scrum half, Charlie is always a threat and Sham showed he punches above his weight with a couple of big hits. But the TES sponsored MoM went to Danny O’Connor for his workrate around the field and strength in both attack and defence.
DoD was a comparatively easier choice, with Alex Horsfall taking the accolade. Not only for his yellow card. And not only for announcing to the sideline before entering the game that he hadn’t received a yellow all season, only to then get carded...but also for managing to pick up an injury while being in the bin.
Next week Quins host Chiswick 3rd XV at Broom Rd as we look to continue our fine start to 2019.