Horsham fired to second league victory in a row by Nwachukwu hat-trick
Horsham secured their second successive win in London 1 South after notching up a 43-26 victory away at HAC on Saturday on a hard pitch in hot conditions.
The Green and Whites head coach Nick Stocker said: “I’m very pleased to secure another five points following our most complete performance to date.
“The speed that the guys are learning at is exceptional - testament to their hard work on the training pitch and their hunger to play.
“HAC is a tough place to visit but, in tough conditions, we took control from the start and got the rewards eventually.”
After good pressure and great carries from Finn Hillicks, Kyle Fairs and Jack Osgood, Horsham saw some front foot ball and eventually a penalty was awarded which was well converted by Joe Wilde.
HAC countered through their excellent backs with a converted try through pace out wide and a line break after Horsham were caught with their defence a little narrow.
The Green and Whites responded and, after a penalty was kicked to corner, a good drive sucked in sufficient players to create the space out wide to bring Declan Nwachukwu into the line.
And following an advantage being played, Nwachukwu did well to finish in the corner. This was converted by Wilde to put Horsham 10-7 ahead after 21 minutes.
Horsham built on this with a great defensive scrum which saw field position secured. From the resulting scrum, they generated a good drive and a blind side attack for Nwachukwu to power over his opposite man to finish strongly for his second try, which was well converted from out wide by Wilde.
This was followed by a penalty slotted over after great pressure at the scrum which brought the HAC backs offside.
HAC came back with a well worked try on the stroke of half-time after Horsham had tried to move the ball and subsequently gave up field position. With a penalty conceded, the ball was eventually moved wide by the hosts to score. The try was unconverted and the Green and Whites went into the break 20-12 up.
Horsham started the second half strongly. Good field position was earned and following a series of drives for the line, Hillicks came on a great line to burst through the defender to score under the posts. Surprisingly the try was unconverted by Wilde despite having earlier made kicks from the touchline look easy.
Minutes later the Green and Whites increased their lead when Wilde kicked a penalty awarded following good pressure on the HAC ten-metre line.
HAC scored their third try following multiple phases, which was converted, to narrow the deficit to 28-19.
Nwachukwu completed his hat-trick following a good counter attack by Mike Watts. Watts beat his man and sent his teammate away to score and secure the four try bonus point. Wilde then added a penalty to take the lead to 36-19.
There was still time for HAC to secure their own four try bonus point, which was well converted, and then for Horsham in the last play to go through multiple phases before Jordan Bell struck a perfectly weighted crossfield kick for Watts to catch on the full to finish well which was converted by Wilde.
Stocker added: “The set piece was strong and with this quality of possession we could get our runners carrying well and crossing the gain line regularly.
“With our young half backs dictating both field position and tempo, we fashioned a number of opportunities throughout and indeed butchered four overlaps which would have undoubtedly resulted in tries.
“If there is an area that we need to get considerably better at, it is the converting of opportunities created.
“Next week we are back at home hoping to build some momentum with another tough fixture against Cobham.”
Horsham: Watts, Nwachukwu, Wilde, Ordidge, Condon (Squires), J Bell, Linfield, Barber (Cass), Fairs, N Bell, Goward, Osgood, Redmayne (Smith), Everitt, Hillicks.