Hammies 3rds clinched another bonus point win on Saturday against newly promoted Brackenfell.
Having already seen off Brakkies in a friendly a few weeks earlier, Hamiltons started well and piled on the early pressure. The pre game plan was to pin a strong and competitive Brakkies pack back in their own half and to use the windy conditions effectively.
Tactically this proved sound and the good field position lead to early tries with Hammies running in 3 quick tries and conceding one in the 1st half.
Flyhalf Dylan Dawson rounded off a fine team try to open the scoring in the 5th minute. Thereafter, Hammies exposed the Brakkies defence several times with good handling and the found space out wide for the backs with Dylan Fairbridge and Daniel MacKenzie dotting down.
Pick of the 1st half action was big lock Riaan Lategan running down the touch line at full pace to score a cracker in the corner.
No 8 Mike Joni enjoyed a solid return to 3rds after doing duty for the 2nds and can be satisfied with his first full game in a few weeks.
The 2nd half was not nearly as fluid and Hammies became their own worst enemies trying to run themselves out of deep trouble only to concede numerous penalties. It seemed like ground hog day for while as this pattern repeated itself with the home side failing to clear their lines and ending up on the own try line defending line out after line out. Cool heads went absent for a while as Hammies flirted with disaster.
The ref didn’t allow the 2nd half to flow as the penalties piled up for both sides and Brakkies came back into the game with a better showing to their credit.
Hamiltons backs proved the difference with a superb individual scores. Firstly by replacement centre Wybrand deKok after an excellent chase and gather by winger Sia Poswa. Soon thereafter Dan MacKenzie put the game to rest for a 2nd week in a row another late try. This time a 5O m intercept showing a clean pair of heals. Finally, Dylan Fairbridge found himself in some space from a good base centre scrum and bamboozled the Brakkies defenders with a magnificent step and go to dot down under the posts.
No sooner had Hammies taken control, but they leaked 2 very quick tries through some ill discipline and poor communication.
In the end it was a good bonus point win, so we can feel happy about the 6 tries.
Going forward, defending the counter attack and exit of the red zone under pressure are the noticeable areas for improvement.
View images from the match here
Hammies 36 Brackenfell 22
Dylan Dawson, Dylan Fairbridge (2), Daniel MacKenize (2) & Rian Lategan
Dylan Fairbridge (3)
By Barry Herbert