Match Report: Hendon RFC 48 - 5 Wasps FC
By Liam Murphy
Hendon teams collect 100 points as Hendon 2nds win 52-22 against Cuffley in the Merit league and the 1st XV score 48 points.
This match was preceded by a Vice Presidents' and supporters' lunch which ensured a good level of support on the touchline and was co-sponsored by Keith Gent and John Casalaspro former First XV captains of the club.
Quoted coach Phil Smith after the results “ Delighted with the 1st but equally with the 2nds who are now in real terms a Hendon Extra 1st ”
Hendon started against Wasps, who narrowly defeated the home outfit earlier in the season, up the slope in the 1st period but after just five minutes of play scrum half Billy Burrell burst round the Wasps defence from midfield, slipped to stand off Rob Casey to put Will Theaker away to score in the corner 5-0. Wasps forwards then took control of the scrums and from a set piece their No 10 kicked the ball long over the Hendon backline into the bottom left hand corner with their winger winning the race to touch down in the corner to level the score 5-5. An attacking move by Hendon’s forwards, led by Captain Mike Culhane caught Wasps offside on their 22 line with the penalty slotted over by full back Dan Watterson on 30 minutes restoring Hendon's lead at 8 points to 5.
Then another great carry by Culhane breaking the Wasps defence set up Harry Charles to run wide with Casey to score in the corner with Watterson converting from the touchline to push Hendon into a 15-5 half time lead.
Into the 2nd period Hendon now had the slope advantage and with only three 3 minutes on the clock, from a maul on the Wasps 22, 2nd Row forward Vytautas Pavilonis picked up, saw off several tackles to score under the posts, converted by Watterson. Hendon were now in command at 22-5.
Winger Chris Kiyingi was next in action but his try was considered held up; however from the 5 metre scrum Burrell pushed wide for Theaker to cross the whitewash for his 2nd try and the bonus point to Hendon at 29-5. On 25 minutes. Charles from midfield collected, put his foot on the peddle with Theaker in support but Charles pushed aside two Wasps' defenders to score a very individual try converted by Cian Hynes, club captain returning as replacement for Watterson for his first game after a shoulder injury making the score now 36 points to 5.Hendon continued to apply constant pressure and a Hynes' long penalty kick to the corner gave the Hendon backline the opportunity to run the ball from the line-out with Casey finishing with the try in the opposite corner. Hynes conversion went just wide and the score now was a commanding 41points to 5
With only a minute to go Hendon restarted, Culhane’s tackle on the defender knocked the ball loose collected by Donal O’Sullivan to run in a finishing score, converted by Hynes with the final whistle at 48 points to 5.
This bonus points win consolidates Hendon's fourth position in the league with the next league match away at Thamesians (Twickenham), who are in fifth place on Saturday 9th February followed by a Friday 15th February league fixture against Bank of England kick off at 7.45 pm under lights at Allianz Park (a match sponsored by Life Vice President Ian Lyall).
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