The Vikings had two really tough intense practices going into the Hammies match. There was no doubt that we had to be at our best and really lift our game against the so called favourites.
We went out with the mantra that we will earn their respect while absolutely leaving it out there on the field and emptying the tank.
In the first 55 minutes of the game we did just that and at a stage we looked like causing an upset, and the belief was evident. In the first half we had much of the ball and went through 8 phases or more 3 times with Hammies scrambling on defence on three occasions from 2 line breaks made by Joel Murphy and one by Aden Liebrandt. Hammies changed their game tactics as our defence was resolute and decided to play kick chase and kick territory game. They scored a fortunate try before half time but they went into the break with an uncomfortable look on their faces only being 7-0 up.
We had one or two opportunities early in the second half and our kicks and kick offs put them under tremendous pressure. But unfortunately our line outs weren’t quite working on the night not allowing us to set a solid platform on attack. They scored two tries quite quickly in succession just after the midway mark in the second half and our fatiguing squad started to slip tackle and fade with their super subs making an immediate impact. We unfortunately conceded two more tries literally in the final 3-4 minutes that flattered the hosts, but we certainly made them work and we can take tremendous pride away from our first half performance.
Special mention to Joel Murphy and Jermaine Achilles who were excellent on the night and to the whole team who were brilliant for those first 55 minutes.
Score: LOST 36-0