OUR first league game back at the Rugby Park since the defeat to Ealing on November 20 saw us entertain Hinckley RFC.
The opposition were full of confidence having gained their second league win the previous week at the expense of Shelford.
In contrast, we were coming off the back of another loss and were really needing a good victory to kick-start us and to get back to winning ways.
This week saw a bit of a reshuffle to the side. With Rob Smith out injured, Finlay moved to 8, Sam Pitchford came into the second row, Shane started at scrum-half and Alex Nielsen started on the wing.
We started well and had the first scoring opportunity when Hinckley infringed at the breakdown, unfortunately Matt’s kick struck the upright.
We didn’t have to wait long before we opened our account as Finlay managed to bundle the ball over the line a few minutes later. In truth, we were always in control of this fixture. When we built phases and kept the ball, we scored at will.
At times, we got a little sloppy and by giving away cheap penalties allowed the Hinckley 10 to close the gap briefly.
We went in at half-time with a healthy lead and a scoreline that was something to build on and to push for the four try bonus point.
We started the second half still asleep and from another penalty Hinckley kicked to the corner and from the resulting catch and drive they managed to go over for their only try of the game.
This galvanised us and normal service resumed with more tries coming as Hinckley tired under the pressure we were putting on them, both in attack and in a very physical defence.
The end result being a win, with a four try bonus point at home. A special mention goes to Finlay and Matt Miles, who both scored a brace of tries.
The other results this week saw wins for OAs, Jersey, Ealing, Henley, Lydney and Southend. Richmond also racked up 108 points against Newbury.
This week we head to Shelford for what is the start of a tough month for the Raiders with three long away trips and a tricky home fixture.
Games against Shelford are always very hard and physical, even more so as they have lost their last two fixtures.
We hope to see as many of you that can make it up there supporting us.