It's becoming like deja vu, but Enfield Ignatians still have no answer to their poor starts to games after another first-half thrashing left the writing on the wall in their crushing 73-26 home defeat to HAC on Saturday.

The hosts struggled with the pace of the game but did rescue a losing bonus point, delivering an improved second-half performance for the second week in a row.

But things were already looking bleak after a quarter-of-an-hour, with HAC already holding a 19-0 lead by that point - as poor handling again ruined any hope of a bright start for Ignatians.

The promotion contenders were rampant in the early stages, but Dan McDermott played in man-of-the-match Keir Bonnar to rescue a score in a rare moment of Ignatians possession.

HAC continued their assault after that, asking serious questions of the home backline with a barrage of attacks, and they ran in another five tries before the interval.

Bonnar added a consolation for the hosts in the dying minutes of the half, barreling through the defence to pull another try back, and Jack Bates added the extras.

So, trailing 54-12 at half-time, the only way was up.

The hosts rediscovered some of their defensive ability and kept up their attacking intent after the break, as they exerted pressure on HAC from the off.

Luke Stack forced his way over the line to add Enfield’s third try, and with a bonus point within their sights, McDermott ran a quick tap penalty in the middle before racing into the corner.

Kieran Holmes-Darby converted both tries, but HAC would have the last laugh and added another three tries before the end of the game, but a far tighter second half did little to mask the deficiencies Ignatians had displayed before the break.

On Saturday they have another tough test to face as they travel to high-flying Harpenden, with the hosts having won all four of their games.

Enfield themselves now sit ninth out of the 12 sides in London Two North West, with seven points from four games, and only Hammersmith and Harrow have fewer wins than themselves.

Captain Bates said: “For the third consecutive week, we have been caught napping in the first half and we’re something of dormant giants, who showed what they are capable of in the second half. However, it was too little, too late.”