Hampstead will hit another gear if they can maintain their momentum, says Breen

Craig Harper (right) scored twice for Hampstead on Saturday. Pic Paolo Minoli

Craig Harper (right) scored twice for Hampstead on Saturday. Pic Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Hampstead are setting the early pace at the top of London Division Two North-West – and head coach Peter Breen believes his side will hit another gear if they can maintain their momentum for the next fortnight.

Hampstead won 27-8 at Tabard to secure their third win from their opening three games on Saturday, leaving them top of the pile.

Craig Harper scored two tries, Dan Dimoline crossed the whitewash and kicked seven points and man of the match Neil Watt also got over the line.

Breen told Ham&High Sport: “What happens is you get to a stage where the momentum takes over. People don’t want to miss games - you’ll turn up to training and you’ll have 45 to 55 people there.

“That’s what happens when you’re top of the league, whereas you can be putting in the same effort at the bottom and you have 11 people turning up. The difference is the competition in training and it starts to get momentum of its own.

“When people have had an injury, whereas they take three weeks off if we’re at the bottom, they don’t want to take a week off at all. It’s interesting to watch and you can’t manufacture it.

“I’m not certain we’re there yet but another couple of wins and that will definitely be the case. It doesn’t guarantee you’re going to win the league but it guarantees you’re going to have a large body of people to pick from every week.

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“At the start of last season we had a reasonably good start too, but this year - even at the start of the season - we had much more strength in depth in the front row.

“We’ve got some second rows coming back this week, we’ve got Jonty Hallett coming back. We’ve never been in this position before, with lots of people who think they’re first-team players playing in the second team and lots of second-team players playing for the third team. We weren’t in that position last year.”

Breen added: “What was probably most pleasing on Saturday was that for the 20 minutes when we didn’t have the ball, our defence was superb.

“Even though we were frustrated and it was a game we didn’t like, we still came out with five points.

“If you score against us you have to pay a heavy toll on your body. You don’t get a free try and that’s really pleasing. The players organise themselves and they’re determined. If you make metres against us it’s going to cost you.”