Saturday, September 23, 2023

Braintree 5 v 18 Thurrock

Thurrock recorded their seventhth straight league victory against second placed Braintree in a hard fought encounter at Beckers Green Road. The home side proved a tough nut to crack as they started a lot brighter in the opening minutes, but Thurrock soaked up the pressure and started to pin the home side back, a series of line outs close to the Braintree line gave Thurrock the chance to score, but a silly penalty wasted the opportunity. However from the resultant line out Thurrock stole the ball when a long throw went Thurrock way, fly half Ian Rudgely made an exquisite break and with options either side fed second row Aaron Woodward who galloped on to score, under the posts, the conversion was missed.

The home side huffed and puffed and had a penalty that hit the post this was closest they came to scoring and made no further impression, and it was Thurrock who looked the more likely and strong running centre Ben Stanley strength proved too much for the defence has he took men over with him to score wide-out, the conversion this time, was just wide. Thurrock continued to dominate but Braintree only allowed two kickable penalties, of which Rudgely was successful with the first effort to give Thurrock 13pt lead at the break.

The home side’s best spell came immediately after the restart and pinned Thurrock in their own 22 for a long period, and Thurrock were being penalised by the referee for infringements in the maul, but Braintree eventually wriggled over from a line out and rolling maul to score in the corner, the conversion was missed on day which was not the best for kickers on either side. Braintree tried to keep the ball in the forwards but did not create any scoring opportunities, as the game went into the final quarter Thurrock started to get a grip on proceedings and started kick balls into the corners, a great chase from Nat Farrell resulted in a charge down and tip back to Bradleigh Rettigan who was on hand to score a try that put the result beyond doubt. The game was not the most entertaining, but proved that when asked, Thurrock can dig in to win and claim two more important points.

Team Darryl Worster, Sam Porter , Ben Stanley, Earl Gorman, Nathan Farrell, Ian Rudgely, Andy Eaton, Dave Stevens, Dan Carey, Billy Smith, Andy Kettleton, Aaron Woodward, Ben Timson, Rob Batho, Bradleigh Rettigan, Rep: Aidsuan Leebumrung, Neil Wakefield, Ben Partridge

This week Thurrock host Colchester at Oakfield, in the League preceded by the 2nd VP’s lunch of the season, game kicks off at 300pm


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