The 140 th Derby Day kicked off with the 3rd teams locking horns in pleasant but windy conditions on Saturday. Hammies made the early running and quickly settled into a decent rhythm against a fired up Villager.
After some nice interplay Jason Poleman stepped through to open the scoring under the posts.
Centre pairing of Jason and Monre Lingeveldt looked right at home together and had too much class for the Village defence as they linked well outside of a useful looking half back pairing of Jonathan Halliday and Tristen Lee. Monre Lingevent managed 2 tries in quick succesion to knock the stuffing out of Village. However, it was full back Alfred Mambinge who caused Village the most headaches as he slipped out of tackles and kept his team going forward from tight situations.
Up front the contest was negated by the “no contest” scrums which took some of the physicality out of the fixture. The line outs too were an awful mess in the 1st half but improved as the game went on. Given this was early in the year, perhaps this can be forgiven somewhat but the coaches of both sides will expect to see real improvement at line out time in the weeks to come.
To Villager’s credit they never gave up and put in a much better 2nd half. They nearly scored a try of their own towards the end and were a little unlucky to come away empty handed. Villager tackled well all day but their organisation let them down in the 1st half and that gave Hammies ample chance to shine with lock Nico Etzebeth and flank James Language taking the invitation to run. Both making debuts and showing early promise for the season ahead.
There were more than satisfactory returns for Bobby Louw, Martin, Matt Tame, Jacob, Vleis, Lazz &, Ruwald & Chad Wifred who scored Hammies final try with a clever little blind side break of his own late in the game
Special mention for Gareth Rowe who makes a welcome return after injury and did a superb job leading a new and relatively young Hammies side.
With the final preseason friendly against Brackenfell looming, Hammies 3rds will enjoy the win.
Early promise but still lots of work ahead before this team shows its full potential.
Hamilton 33 – Village 0