Hoppers 55-12 Hull
Hoppers bounced back from last weeks disappointing home loss with a seven try demolition of Hull.
A combination of powerful forward play and scintillating running from the backs allowed Hoppers to control the game and put on a fantastic display of attacking rugby. As well as scoring seven tries they were able, for the most part, to stifle a strong but limited Hull attack that didn’t really offer much apart from a well drilled set piece and while they had some early success through the line out this was nullified and Hoppers open field tackling was excellent.
Head Coach Michael Lough said; “this was a very good response to last week’s poor loss, we fronted up well and got back to hard confrontational rugby.”
“The attitude of the guys during the week was exceptional and we hit the ground running, I was disappointed that we let them back into the game and our discipline is still an issue but we didn’t play into their hands and when we run direct and hard with our backline we can beat anyone.”
While this was a team effort Lough had high praise for a few individuals and singled out the front row as ‘outstanding’, he said tight head prop Andy Irving had a ‘storming game’ and Captain and talisman Dominic Moon ‘lead from the front from start to finish’.
Hoppers got off to the perfect start with a try after just 40 seconds Sam Kindred was the beneficiary of a wonderful flowing move straight from the kick off as Moon and Karl Fitzpatrick linked well to power up the middle before Jack Ward gave the crucial pass to put the scrum half away, Sean Taylor stepped up to slot the extras in a flawless kicking display that saw him convert all seven tries and add two penalties..
Hull tried to exert there forward dominance and hit back as a penalty allowed them to kick for the corner and launch a catch and drive try touched down by Rob Devonshire, with Greg Lound leveling the scores but Hoppers retook the lead instantly after an effective kick chase led to a good attacking line out of there own and after Kilian Wallace had done well to claim the throw Chris Gale smashed his way up the middle before offloading to Sean Long on a great line.
Hoppers started to pile on the pressure and after a brilliant move was only halted by the referee accidentally getting in the way Moon would blast his way over from the base of a scrum in typical fashion. Taylor’s second penalty took the score to 27-7, although Hoppers were given a brief scare with a second Hull score, as Phil Murphy smashed over from close range after another catch and drive.
The game was pretty much wrapped up by half time as a great break from the base of a scrum allowed Taylor and Fitzpatrick to again combine well with the full back showing great pace before a wonderful pass put Long in the clear for the try of the game which sealed the bonus point. Hoppers were able to add another try before the break as a great turnover inside there own half lead to a swift counter attack with backs and forwards combining before Fitzpatrick touched down.
In the second half Hull tried to control the tempo and had most of possession for the first 20 minutes but a combination of a limited game plan and a fantastic defensive effort by Hoppers meant they couldn’t add any points even with three set pieces inside the 5m line and Hoppers down to 14 men.
When Hoppers were able to get the ball they always looked threatening and added to further tries with Moon getting his second after a poor clearance kick by Hull allowed the back to counter with Ward opening up the defence and putting the No.8 in the clear.
Hull would have two men sent to the bin in the final ten minutes as they couldn’t cope with the pressure from the hosts and while it looked like Moon would complete his hat trick with the final play the referee blew for a penalty try to add to the visitors woes.
Hoppers travel to Westoe next week before the next home game against Birmingham Solihull on October 6th.
Once again the excellent photos below are provided by Mike Craig, thanks Mike.
See below for the post match interview with Gareth Dyer and the footage of Hoppers 7 excellent tries.