Tom Lampard: Cross Keys looking for complete performance
CROSS Keys’ hat trick hero Tom Lampard at Ealing says his side will be determined to work out why impressive first half performances aren’t being sustained after the interval.
The Pandy Park outfit racked up a 19-5 half-time lead away against the English Championship team on Saturday in their British and Irish Cup pool match.
But when lock Lampard scored his third try early after the interval, Keys let a 19-point lead slip as the London side gave them a scare, before the hosts pulled themselves together to win 24-15.
It saw the Gwent Valleys team secure a successive triumph in the competition and their bright start sees them trail group leaders Leinster A (who they face in back-to-back encounters in December) in the table on points difference.
But it was a victory which was tinged with disappointment, the Keys pack dominating the first 50 minutes and racking up a bonus point after four tries coming from the hat trick and another by Newport Gwent Dragons back rower Ieuan Jones, largely as a result of the visitors’ impressive driving lineout.
Man of the match Lampard, 28, was delighted with his try-scoring achievement but admitted his side’s lack of killer instinct in the second half is an area of concern.
A similar thing happened in their opening British and Irish Cup success against Moseley when a 17-point interval lead at home was frittered away as they desperately held on for a 20-16 victory in the end.
Lampard and his second row partner Dan Hodge are leading their club’s try-scoring statistics so far this season having racked up and impressive five tries each.
“It has been a while since I’d scored three tries and I’ve never scored a hat trick in senior rugby before,” Lampard said.
“When I was with Newbridge Youth playing against Llanishen, I scored five tries. I always remember that one as the ‘Mission in Llanishen’. But that was a long time ago – about ten years ago now.
“I think Rob Nash is the only Keys forward before me to score three tries but that wasn’t in the British and Irish Cup so I’m delighted to achieve that – and against an English team as well!”
“I had to fight with Dan a few times to be the one to get over the line against Ealing!” he added, his first try having initially been credited to Hodge.
Lampard is pleased with their driving lineout but knows Keys have plenty to work on as they return to Principality Premiership action at home to Bridgend on Saturday.
“We were delighted with our last win and we’d worked hard on the driving lineout with Jevon Groves (Keys’ assistant forwards coach and Newport Gwent Dragons player) and I think we’ve perfected it and it’s working well and it has become one of our strongest features.
“But it was typical Cross Keys against Ealing really – we came out of the blocks firing but we seemed to switch off a bit after half-time and it’s as if we’ve got a hang-on mentality.
“It’s something we have to work. That’s the only disappointing thing – we should have blown them away in the second half.
“We’ve got the boys with the skills but for some reason that half-time break is disrupting us.
“Hopefully we can work out why in training this week.”
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