Colchester 11 v 26 Thurrock

THURROCK travelled to Colchester, a team lying third in the table, knowing that only victory over the league leaders will keep them in the promotion hunt via the play offs.

The crowd was boosted by the current RFU President and a large number of travelling supporters who witnessed a very good game of rugby. Thurrock first half performance was the best all season. Absorbing early home side pressure with some great defence Thurrock turned the ball over and quickly turned attack into defence and found themselves into the Colchester 22 and in an attacking position after three phases the ball found its way to Ben Stanley, who wriggled his way over to touch down close to the posts. Jamie Reid added the extras.

A penalty from the home side slotted over by Wiggins quickly followed. Thurrock however were more enterprising and kept the home side on the back foot, Luke Crowhurst was next on the score sheet following a forward drive, and Reid added the conversion. Thurrock continued to look dangerous and the next try was the try of the match, great movement of the ball inside and out allowed second row Andy Kettleton score for the second consecutive week. Reid then capped a fine all round game scoring close to the posts and converting his own try. From the resultant restart a Thurrock infringement gave Colchester a penalty, and on the stroke of half time fly half Withers concluded the first half with a successful lick to make the half time score 26-6

Unfortunately for supporters the second period was not like the first. It lacked cohesion and a lot of stop start rugby with the only score coming in 55th minute when Colchester scored through prop McMillan, the try went unconverted. The rest of the half was an heroic defensive effort. With 13 minutes remaining, fly half Ian Rudgley was carried with cramp in both legs. Now Thurrock were down to 14 men, it only got worse a minute later Crowhurst, quickly followed by Kettleton were sent to the sin bin. With only 12 men it should only have been a matter of time that Colchester added extra points, but some fantastic defence and an over eager attack, Thurrock survived unscathed and another win closer to the title.

Team: Darryl Worster, James Reid ,Earl Gorman, Ben Stanley,Nathan Farrell, Ian Rudgely, Andy Eaton, Stefan North, Dan Carey, Billy Smith, Andy Kettleton, Aaron Woodward, Luke Crowhurst, Ben Timson, Brad Rettigan Rep: Tom Howells, Ben Partridge, Sam Porter

This Week Thurrock entertain Ipswich with the kick off being 2.30pm

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