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Rhinos' neighbours are Streets ahead

PUBLISHED: 16:35 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:27 07 September 2010

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IT PROVED to be a severe case of deja vu for the Rhinos on Saturday as they lost their second north London derby in successive matches, this time slumping to defeat against newly-promoted Old Street.

RUGBY UNION

LONDON DIVISION 3 NORTH WEST

Haringey Rhinos 20

Old Streetonions 15

IT PROVED to be a severe case of deja vu for the Rhinos on Saturday as they lost their second north London derby in successive matches, this time slumping to defeat against newly-promoted Old Street.

The latest setback capped a disappointing start to the season for Tim Hutchins' side, who now sit 10th in the 12-team division and without a point on the board after their opening two fixtures.

Old Street, on the other hand, are already second in the league after winning their second promotion in a row from Herts/Middlesex 1 in the last campaign.

But the visitors, based at Hackney Marshes, had to endure long periods of pressure as Haringey fought to make their home advantage count at White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre.

The two sides initially had to work together to overcome a wardrobe problem as Old Street arrived without their kit. Rhinos volunteered their strip and turned their own inside out, before their guests recovered their uniform at half-time.

From the kick-off a mobile Rhinos pack came storming out of the blocks, turning over ball from the very first whistle and putting Old Street on the back foot within their own 22-metre line.

Returning lock Ali Hewitt was an imposing figure in the lineout, providing a target for mauling drives at the set piece and hampering the visitors' ability to win their own ball.

A lineout from a penalty turned into one such attack, and a break and an offload sent Daniel Thompson crashing over the line for his first try for the club.

After 20 minutes the Rhinos were 10-3 ahead and comfortably dominant, but they failed to add further points and Old Street recovered through a magical try from Scottish wing Colin McAndrew.

Indeed, Haringey went into the break five points in arrears, 15-10 down, as Old Street snatched the lead just before the interval, McAndrew again finishing superbly in the corner.

The game became a scrappy affair after the break and, although skipper Mat Brown fell just short of the try-line as Haringey again started positively, a huge penalty count told in Old Street's favour.

Rhinos' constant infringements in the ruck eventually resulted in a yellow card for Patrick Hawkes being shown a yellow card, the first of many as the referee presented another four cards to players on both sides.

Impact sub Rubert Jonker brought the Rhinos within five points at 20-15, but the visiting defence was impenetrable in the final period.

And, as time ran out, the disappointed Rhinos were left to rue their missed chances against very beatable opposition. Next week they travel to Bank of England, who are bottom of the league after also losing their first two games of the season.

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