An eminently forgettable first half gave way to a superb exhibition of attacking rugby as Welwyn beat Hackney at home.

The Hobbs Way-based club had turned round just 7-5 in front in the Counties One Herts Middlesex match but seven second-half tries demolished any hopes the visitors had, with Welwyn winning 52-17.

Whatever was said at half-time clearly did the trick and left head coach Gareth Hughes purring with delight.

He said: "We really only started playing after the interval but there was some excellent flowing rugby in the second half.

"Our lines of running, support play and off-loading were all excellent at times.

The second period was in sharp contrast to the opening 40 minutes with a lacklustre showing from a Welwyn side clearly missing injured captain Josh Milton.

Hackney were first on the scoreboard with an unconverted try after 10 minutes but that was cancelled out and improved by a pushover try scored by Dave Wells, on for the injured Tom Atfield a mere 30 seconds earlier, and converted by Chris Kemp.

The hosts were also indebted to a superb tackle from Vetaia Kawea on the stroke of half-time, the full-back depriving Hackney of a certain try in the corner.

Hatfield QE were without a game but return to action on Saturday when they go to Biggleswade in Herts Middlesex Merit Table Four North.

Changes were made though by the Welwyn management team during the interval and with Kemp moved from fly-half to scrum-half, they were a completely different beast.

Four tries came in the opening eight minutes of the half to rip the heart out of the east London side.

Winger Jo Nasaucoko scored out wide before Kawea touched down twice in two minutes.

Liam Scofield then rounded off a flowing move to move Welwyn into a 33-5 advantage and out of sight.

To their credit, Hackney did not throw in the towel and were rewarded with a converted try from close range and 10 minutes in the sin-bin for Nasaucoko, the referee losing patience with Welwyn infringing in the red zone, just cast a brief doubt over the outcome.

They were soon dispelled though with 10 minutes left to play, even with Hackney getting a third try, as Welwyn scored a further three tries.

Kawea completed his hat trick before Wells scored a carbon-copy pushover try for his second.

Scofield also jumped up to two for the day, rounding off an excellent individual performance with a try in the corner.

Kemp kicked four conversions while Kawea added to his own tally with two.

The result leaves Welwyn fifth in the table but with a game in hand on all of the four teams above them.

They hope to have a few injured players back in time for Saturday's trip to Hitchin, the Hedgehogs lying in sixth.

That is three places above Datchworth who go to Hampstead next, the side directly above them in the standings.

The Men in Green's latest fixture was a 48-20 loss at home to Old Streetonians.