Civil Service Barbarians defeated at home
On Saturday 27th September, Hanwell travelled down the road to Whitton, to be the first league side to face the Civil Service Barbarians at their new home.
Coming off of the back of a disappointing loss to Old Hamptonians - a game in which Hanwell simply never got into gear, the visitors were determined to show what they could do in the league this season.
The game started as expected, with the 'Baa Baas' using their huge pack of forwards to punch holes in the Hanwell defence.
The visitors defended well, hitting hard in every tackle and holding out the Barbarian attack at bay.
The home side were frantically hitting the rucks in an attempt to get quick ball to their backs, only for Hanwell to illegally turn over ball. A series of penalties were given in the host's favour, with the Barbarians opting to 'tap and go' in an attempt to drive their massive pack over the line.
The breakthrough came with a powerful surge that was pushed out wide by the Hanwell backs, but who were unable to stop the score. From a difficult angle, the extras were missed and the game restarted with the scores 5-0 to the hosts.
From the restart the game was almost all Hanwell. The forwards, despite the size difference, were dominating the scrums and providing the perfect platform for the backs to run at the Baa Baas with pace.
Hanwell's first try came from just that scenario. The pack safely secured their own scrum on the hosts 5 metre line, for scrumhalf Paul Doherty to get the ball out to the backs swiftly for centre Phil Nolan to score 5-5.
From the restart, Hanwell gathered and built up territorial advantage by getting the backs onto the ball as quickly as possible.
Eventually, captain Steven Nolan broke through a series of tackles to run deep into the Baa Baas 22, before offloading in the tackle for hooker , John Bodman to gather and score under the posts. With flyhalf Darren Breen adding the conversion, the scores stood at 5-12.
More good work from the Hanwell pack, once again freed their backs up to run at the home side's defence. Eventually releasing winger Dan Horner to side step a challenge and run in under the posts from outside of the 22 to make the scores 5-19 to Hanwell.
Again, the restart was gathered by Hanwell, allowing the teams battle it out in the middle of the park. Eventually, turning over ball, Hanwell put together a series of phases, eventually leading to a sniping pick and go from Paul Doherty to score under the posts - half time score 5-26 to Hanwell.
The second half began rapidly for Hanwell, with flanker Kenny Hassan collecting the ball, sidestepping several attempted tackles before running from just inside his own half to score beneath the crossbar to set the scores up at 5-33.
The Civil Service players, despite the scoreline, had kept their heads up, playing powerful, forward dominated rugby to counteract the pace of the visitors pace. From the restart, this was in evidence as hooker John Bodman collected a high ball, and riding the collective hit of a couple of Baa Baas to offload out the back of a maul to flyhalf Darren Breen, who got the ball through the Hanwell backs to centre, Phillip Nolan to run in from distance to score his second of the game.
The remainder of the game was to be all Hanwell, with Barbarians literally putting their bodies on the line in defence. Collecting a few injuries to key players, the home side started to suffer fitness issues whilst covering for their fallen comrades.
Hanwell, following their previous week's defeat, were in ruthless mood and started to run the ball at every opportunity.
A further score from flanker Kenny Hassan was followed by two more by Paul Doherty, giving the latter his second hatrick of the season.
Final score Civil Service Barbarians 5 - Hanwell 57.
30th September 2014