NNK 11 Hammies 26
Tries by Ridge Pietersen, Wybrand De Kok, Daniel Mackenzie and Dylan Fairbridge
Conversions 3* Dylan Fairbridge
Hammies 3rds secured a bonus point win late in the 2nd half against a determined NNK at Parow on Tuesday night.
In their best performance of the season both forwards and backs contributed meaningfully to a deserved win and cement their spot on top of the log.
It was hard work for Hammies as NNK tackled well and made a number of crucial turnovers, but in truth NNK struggled for parity from the outset. To their credit they never gave up and were rewarded with a consolation try by the forwards who drove over in the 79 th minute.
Hamiltons started well and never slipped their grip on the match, despite some frustration at not finishing multiple scoring chances.
A much improved line out performance and dominant scrum set the foundation for the win. Hammies also had the better of the penalty count, due to the pressure exerted by the forwards where hooker Martin Van Wyk stood out with high work rate, strong carries and pin point line out throws. Lock Stephan Schaap dominated the line outs which allowed Hammies several scoring opportunities but it was the front row who really set up this victory. Captain Daniel Pikker and prop Bantu Mene totally outclassed their opponents. The latter was very unlucky to be shown a yellow card after the ref sent him to the bin for a dangerous tackle. The player did seem to duck into the tackle.
After an excellent 1st quarter, which included a fine solo try with dummy and step, flyhalf Ridge Pietersen left the field with a hip injury. Ridge was directing traffic and having a great game so was very disappointed to leave proceedings, however, his replacement Wybrand de Kok put his hand up and played a key role in the victory.
Both scrum halves Chad Wyford and Dylan Dawson enjoyed plenty of quality ball and shone behind the dominant pack. Full back Dylan Fairbridge again showed some classy touches and looks a real threat with ball in hand.
Hammies are also blessed with great depth on the bench this season and the squad looks set for a deep run in this years competition if they keep building on this performance.
Very pleasing to see was the veteran centre Daniel Mackenzie who took the game but the scruff of the neck in the final quarter and rolled back the years with a Man of the Match performance. After a quiet start Dan showed his value, with a hand in the bonus point try and scoring another himself with the power and determination to win.
Hammies were very enterprising throughout and played the ball wide as often as possible which was encouraging. In this game, it was the direct route that yielded the most fruit and something Hammies will need to consider going forward this season.
By Barry Herbert