Mercer bags a hat-trick as Ducks rout All Blacks to move third

Nicky Mercer dives over for the first of his three tries. Picture: MarkBannisterPhotography.com

Nicky Mercer dives over for the first of his three tries. Picture: MarkBannisterPhotography.com

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Nicky Mercer scored a hat-trick of tries as Aylesbury returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 45-0 home win over Gosford All Blacks at the weekend.

Bidding to bounce back from defeat last time out, the Ducks had no trouble seeing off second-from-bottom Gosford to move back up to third in the Southern Counties North.

Speaking afterwards, head coach John Lambden said: “With the team very disappointed with previous week’s loss the players were determined to re-establish the connection between backs and forwards and play more effectively in attack balancing the need for field position and building effective phases.

“They carried strongly in the first-half, noticeably though Will Travis, Cory Neighbour and Nicky Mercer who finished the match with a fine hat-trick, and managed some eye-catching team scores that were well-earned rewards for their effort.

“They continued this work in the second under tough scrutiny from the referee and ended up with a pleasing and entertaining seven-try haul.

“RobTaylor came on in the second and with Cory Neighbour moving to the second row we saw the possibilities of a lot of mobility in the pack.

“Special mention of Gary Horne playing at 10 and positively adding strong direction for the team. Also mention to of the two front rowers Andy Hackett and Matt Birch, both outstanding in all areas: maintaining their scrum work but adding top contributions in the loose, hitting up and effectively linking with the backs.”

Back at Ostler’s Field, Aylesbury were in no mood to mess about on Saturday and they were soon in the driving seat through unconverted tries from prop Andy Hackett and centre Nicky Mercer.

Hackett got on the scoreboard again later in the half and he was followed across by James Serrano for the bonus-point, and with Dave Stow converting both tries, Aylesbury lead 24-0 at half-time.

The home side’s dominance continued into the second-half with Mercer running in two more tries to complete an excellent hat-trick, and the last word went to Aylesbury’s Man of the Match Rob Taylor, who outpaced the away defence to run in a try with the final play of the game, capped off by Stow’s conversion.

Aylesbury can now enjoy a week off before returning to Ostler’s Field where they host High Wycombe on March 4.