Solid Hendon performance against a spirited Tabard

Hendon players celebrate the victory after Hendon RFC vs Cranbrook RFC, RFU Junior Vase Rugby Union

Hendon players celebrate the victory after Hendon RFC vs Cranbrook RFC, RFU Junior Vase Rugby Union at Allianz Park on 14th March 2020 - Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo

The score does not reflect that the improving Tabard team showed plenty of attacking rugby, but the Hendon players were on top form to seal a 41-3 victory.

Tabard were down the Copthall slope from kick-off as Hendon defended out for seven minutes until second row TJ O’Sullivan collected from a maul on the Hendon 22 went wide to beat the single defender and ran the uphill slope to score in the corner an unconverted try 5-0.  

Hendon’s second try came from a pushover starting 15 metres out with Mitch Hammond and Nick Andrews leading the Hendon pack to allow O’Sullivan to make it 10-0.

Man of the match Will Theaker, who was playing full-back for the first time, took an attacking high kick on the Hendon 22 to run the through the mid-field defence to the Tabard 10 metre line before being stopped.

Dooley picked up to captain Mike Culhane to Hammond to carry to the 22, then from the resulting maul O’Sullivan slipped the ball to debutant winger Ajilbola Oki to score out wide for Hendon to be 15-0 ahead midway through the half.

Into the closing minutes Tabard were awarded a penalty for a Hendon offside and took the kick to get onto the scoreboard 15-3.

Hendon were on the scoresheet after one minute as Chris Kiyingi ploughed through the Tabard defence with Dooley scoring out wide the bonus point unconverted try 20-3.

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For the next 10 minutes, Tabard were on the attack, but solid defending saw them hold firm before Theaker took control to clear out down the slope. Burrell collected to chip over the defence with the Hendon pack mauling to the line, with O’Sullivan scoring his hat-trick as Burrell converted 27-3.

The next Hendon attack commenced with Dooley on halfway to Kiyingi to slip pass the defence to score under the post with Burrell converting 34-3.

Tabard held their heads high and again pushed up the park but stopped short for Theaker to collect and again ran from the Hendon 10 line to the Tabard 22 passing to centre Dragos Clocan to finish with Burrell converting at 41-3.

Hendon director of rugby Phil Smith said: "A great team effort and pleased with our debutants winger Oki, scrum half Alvare Lopez and backline replacement Fazlan Faiz who all fitted into the Hendon format to take us into our next match away to Royston."