Tabard were no match for an inspired HAC as they were battered 52-3 by the title chasers in their London Two North West clash.

HAC finished second in the league last season, and have started the 2017/118 campaign in manner which suggests they will be involved at the sharp end of the table until the last once again.

Tabard are still coping with an ongoing injury crisis and their performance was better value than the losing margin suggested.

Indeed, they took the lead with 12 minutes on the clock when Jack Reilly slotted a penalty, but that was as good as it got for the visitors.

Their hosts responded to the opening score of the game and touched down three times in quick succession to move into a 19-3 win inside the half-hour.

Tabard looked to mount a response to the HAC domincane, but, try as they might, they couldn’t break their opponents defence despite performing well at set pieces.

HAC finished the half well in the ascendancy and added a further try to secure a bonus point before the break.

Reilly looked set to add to his penalty with a try just before the interval, but was held up as he went over the try line.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with HAC bossing proceedings and Tabard struggling to gain any sort of foothold.

Still Tabard put up a good fight and managed to keep HAC at bay until three late tries increased the deficit ahead of full-time.

To add to Tabard’s woe, Reilly was forced off with injury after picking up a nasty looking cut to his mouth.

The captain’s early departure increases the walking wounded in Tabard’s ranks and they will hope he, and others, can use a two week break from matches to recover.

Tabard return to action on Saturday, October 21 when they take on Harpenden at home in what looks to be a daunting task against the table toppers, who have a 100 per cent record.