Hampstead cruise to victory over Grasshoppers in points fest to climb the league table
- Credit: Archant
A rampant Hampstead demolished Grasshoppers 52-5 on Saturday with an utterly compelling display of power and precision in attack and defence.
The home side took the lead within two minutes, with fly-half Craig Harper fizzing a hard pass to release wing Alex Brooks, whose offload in the tackle gave flanker Josh Walker the easiest of scores before Harper added the extras.
It was a miserable start for the visitors, who were lucky not to concede a second try after 10 minutes, when Brooks slightly over-egged his kick ahead with the cover defence beaten.
But Grasshoppers paid for their failure to regather the ball from the 22-metre restart, with the ball passing swiftly through Hampstead hands for debutant Seb Stacey to score under the posts for another seven-pointer on his way to the man of the match award.
Even when Hampstead made handling errors it led to points as the hosts pushed Grasshoppers pack off their own ball with Max Moncrieff scoring his team's third try of the day.
Hampstead secured the try bonus point shortly before half-time when second row Stefan Psota smashed his way through a less than robust Grasshoppers defence.
Leading 26-0 at the turn around Hampstead were first to score after the break, with Rob Sykes continuing his fine scoring run to go over near the posts after more strong phase play from Hampstead. Harper again added the conversion.
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Grasshopppers' only successful attack came 10 minutes into the half when a lapse in concentration by the home side saw them grab a try.
But five minutes, later normal Hampstead service was resumed when Moncrieff went over for his second try of the day from another driving maul, with the score expertly converted by Harper from out wide.
The home side extended their advantage with less than 10 minutes to go when full-back Neil Watt drew the last defender to allow Walker a second easy score.
Relentless Hampstead continued to press for more in the dying minutes of the game, playing the ball from the back after the kick-off before winger Brooks exploded through a gap in midfield to wrap up a comprehensive destruction of a well-fancied Grasshoppers side.
Head Coach Peter Breen said his "tough as teak" side had produced "one of the most brutal, gnarly, physical and dominant forward displays ever produced on the Heath.
"We were a horrible side to play against today. Tough and aggressive - it made me wince and purr."
Hampstead, who moved up to fourth in London Two North West, visit struggling north London rivals Hackney on Saturday.