Old Merchant Taylors’ 32

Fullerians 5

Coach Francois Lombard says Old Merchant Taylors’ laid an early-season ghost to rest with a big victory over Fullerians on Saturday.

Taylors’ made a slow start to the campaign and lost their opening two fixtures before pushing up the table to cement their place as promotion contenders.

The second defeat of the pair came against Fullerians and Lombard was pleased to see a very different outcome now his team are in their stride.

He said: “Having lost away to Fullerians early in the season, this was a match where we had to lay that ghost, and demonstrate our progress since then.

“I was very impressed by the game management, led by Tom Kenison’s captaincy. For me, this week, the importance was on maintaining our structure and composure.

“We had a couple of enforced changes from last week. We welcomed back two of our student players, Jack Baron and Tayo Adesanya, who fitted well into the squad.

“We had done our homework and seen that Fullerians had multiple changes to the team we had previously faced, so there were no preconceptions.

“For me, my three stand-out players today were Johnny Collins, Tyson De Souza, and particularly Brian Bernardez, who had an excellent match at hooker.”

Peter Sinderberry played a trademark crossfield kick to allow Joe Isaacs to score the only try of the first-half to send Taylors’ in 5-0 to the good at the break.

It should have been a greater lead and Lombard stressed that point at half-time, urging his team to make full-use of the wind and use tactical kicking.

Four minutes after the restart and the tactics paid dividends, Isaacs touching down for the second time in the match.

Fullerians pulled one back against the run of play, however a penalty restored the cushion soon after.

James Gregory and Tom Vercoe added the third and fourth OMT tries for a bonus point and Bernardez completed the job.

With nearby neighbours league leaders Harrow beating second-placed Grasshoppers, OMT are now just four points off that second spot.

OMT Lambs won 52-13 at Hemel Hempstead thirds.

Ruislip lost 37-11 against Eton Manor in London One North.

Ickenham were comfortably beaten 17-0 by West London in Herts/Middx Two, while in the same division Uxbridge enjoyed a walkover against Hillingdon Abbots because the latter had players attending a wedding.

Instead the two teams played a friendly with Uxbridge coming out 38-15 winners due to an impressive Jake Lamport who set up several of his side’s tries.