Makeshift Hampstead in five-point triumph over lowly Luton
PUBLISHED: 11:47 12 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:47 12 March 2020
Hampstead secured a welcome five-point haul at Luton on Saturday, scoring four tries in a comfortable away win at the struggling Bedfordshire outfit.
Head Coach Peter Breen's strategy of bringing in fresh blood from the men's squad to replace injured or absent regulars proved a masterstroke as his makeshift side ran in two tries in each half for the try bonus point.
Luton ended the game with just one second-half score to show for their efforts, squandering a number of promising openings in a disjointed performance.
Neil Watt, captain for the day, was a commanding vocal presence in the back line and it was only fitting that it was he who won the foot race for a kick-ahead to score the try that rounded off the game and secured the valuable bonus point.
Hampstead opened the scoring in the 10th minute when man-of-the-match Mike McEwen latched onto a wayward pass as Luton threatened the Hampstead line.
With the home defence disorganised, the ball was fed to flanker Dan Dimoline, who raced through for a comfortable score under the posts.
Seven points became 12 points in the 31st minute with a score that is surely a contender for Hampstead's try of the season.
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From a scrum 10m from their own try line, the visitors swiftly moved the ball to the wide channel, winger Arthur Haynes sprinting a full 60m before passing inside to the supporting runner Jack Aroskin, who fended off the covering defender to score.
Hampstead looked comfortable throughout, thought their lack of game time together showed on occasion and both sides suffered repeat indignities on set piece ball, notably the lineout.
Hampstead battled bravely at the scrum where a lack of ballast made for a testing afternoon for the front five, but greater technical ability won through at key points in the game.
Luton were mostly architects of their own misfortune, basic handling errors costing them a number of promising openings.
This was epitomised 10 minutes into the second period when some woeful defending by Luton allowed David Ryan to storm through a gaping hole midfield. His deft kick ahead was finished off by fly-half Seb Stacey.
Luton gained a modicum of comfort with a score of their own mid-way through the half, but an impressive defensive set by Hampstead restricted the home side to just five points.
The away win was particularly impressive from a group of players who have barely played together this season.
Hampstead next play on Saturday at 10th-placed Datchworth, fresh from a 101-15 trouncing of Grasshoppers.