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Hendon fail their French test in friendly defeat against Essec boys

14:13 01 April 2014

Brian O

Brian O'Regan in action for Hendon. Pic: Paolo Minoli

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Hendon were off-duty in Herts/Middlesex Division Two on Saturday so they took the opportunity to gain some European experience, fielding a mixture of first and second-team players in a 44-31 friendly defeat against Essec Business School Old Boys from Paris.

In an entertaining afternoon of running rugby, Essec were first off the mark, heading down the slope to score the opening try after five minutes.

The lead then changed hands a couple of times as Elliot Brown ran in from a 10-metre penalty and converted to put the home side 7-5 up, while Essec got two more tries in the ensuing 15 minutes to establish a 17-7 advantage.

Judah Simpson ran in his first try from a back-line move, with Brown converting again to cut the gap to three points and, although Essec rumbled over from a driving maul to extend their lead again on the half-hour mark, Simpson went over in the corner at the first period as the French side took a slender 22-19 lead into the break.

Brian O’Regan punched holes in the defence at the start of the second period but Essec scored out wide 10 minutes after the interval before touching down again to go 34-19 up.

But man of the match Brown then brought the hosts back into the game with two superb tries, converting one to narrow the gap to 34-31.

Unfortunately Hendon ran out of steam in the last 10 minutes and Essec ran in two more scores to come away with the spoils – and there was further competition of a drinking nature that evening in the clubhouse, where the score-line was a little more even.

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