Hampstead shine in the rain with five-try blitz of Luton
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead recorded their third straight win on Saturday with a comprehensive 37-7 defeat of Luton, running in five tries in a display of attacking verve and defensive solidity.
Two penalties by the impressive Ben Nichols at fly-half gave Hampstead an early lead before hat-trick hero Rob Sykes scored his first of the afternoon in the 30th minute.
After Luton coughed up possession near Hampstead's 22m line, scrum-half Craig Harper's astonishing clearance kick sent the home side a full 70 metres up field.
When the visitors fumbled their lineout, Sykes peeled off the back of the resultant Hampstead scrum to wrestle the ball down.
A sumptuous conversion by Nichols meant the home side led 13-0 at half-time.
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Two minutes into the second half, Hampstead extended their lead, as Harper spotted a brilliant line run by Arthur Haynes and his flat pass allowed the Hampstead right wing a clear run to the line.
Hampstead's Sykes got his second of the game with a repeat drive for the line off an advancing scrum, duly converted by Nichols.
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Full back Neil Watt was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself after he was put through near the half-way line by the always excellent James Ferguson, but when Luton were again pushed off their own ball at a scrum after a Hampstead knock-on, Sykes was again on hand to dot down for the five-pointer.
Luton eventually earned a measure of reward for a hard afternoon's work when a rare missed tackle by Hampstead saw the visitors dot down behind the posts. The conversion was a formality.
Five minutes from time, captain James Glaysher put the gloss on an excellent team performance with another pushover try from a scrum, majestically converted from the touchline by Nichols.
Hampstead Head Coach Peter Breen was delighted with the win which came despite his side being robbed of its two first choice centres.
"This week we were able to add to an another excellent defensive performance a five-try bonus point win," he enthused.
"Everybody had a good game. Everybody in the pack impressed but the man of the match was a close call between the excellent half-backs, Harper and Nichols, with the superb Harper just edging it."
The win took Hampstead to within three points of third spot in the London 2 North-West table and they next play a tough away fixture on November 9 at Fullerians.