London Welsh Griffins 14 – 68 Ealing Trailfinders Academy
Two tries on debut for flanker Haseen Hashim was one of the highlights of the day on Saturday, as the Academy secured the win at Old Deer Park.
The score-line certainly doesn’t tell the whole storey of what was, for 40 minutes a close affair.
London Welsh asked plenty of questions of a young Academy side without many Senior Academy players. A lack of speed and intensity meant the game was a stop start affair. This led to few opportunities to open up the field.
Credit to the young Exiles who worked really hard at the breakdown to disrupt and steal plenty of Ealing ball.
Tries from Hashim, Skipper Alfie Hill and a penalty try plus 2 Nolan Hutchinson penalties saw the young Trailfinders go into the half time break 21-7 up.
The second half was more recognisable performance with far more pace on the ball both through the hands and at the breakdown.
However it was Welsh who looked most dangerous early on. A great spot by Harry Vidler allowed him to pick off what could have been a killer pass, he had just enough pace to make it home from 80m out. The Griffins refused to lie down and were deservedly next to score.
Another dominant scrummaging performance gave a good attacking platform and with space beginning to appear, Hashim scored his second try.
Further scores from Ollie Morris (2), James Booth, Josh Steadman and another penalty try, all converted by debutant fly half Ewan Starling completed the game.
Academy Director, John Lacey said “A pleasing second half performance flatters us a little. While we looked dangerous in parts we struggled in the first half.
It was nice to see Haseen Hashim and Ewan Starling both feature well in their first game for the Academy.
Josh Steadman was back to his mercurial best, threatening all the time with ball in hand as well as knocking players back behind the gain line. Ollie Morris continues to look good at Outside Centre too.”
Its only a couple of weeks before the boys are back in action at Vallis Way against London Scottish. Keep an eye out here for more details soon.
Ealing Trailfinders Academy
Rugeley, Bridgewood, Morris, Luk, Booth, Nolan-Hutchinson, Steadman, Hill (c), Wake, Hashim, Accelam, Barton, Eubank-Anderson, Joyce, Robbins
Osuntoki, Brathwaite, Vidler, Starling, Monponbanua
Tries – Hashim 2, Morris 2, Penalty 2, Hill, Vidler, Booth, Steadman
Cons – Nolan Hutchinson 2, Starlng 5