Thurrock began a string of three away games on the trot with this game in bitterly cold conditions at Tabard in Hertfordshire.
Thurrock started well and exerted early pressure, with some fine forward surges and flowing back play. A ruck just short of the Tabard line resulted in Darryl Worster getting over for the first try. Brandon’s conversion, on target, fell just short of the crossbar.
T’s were in complete control at this stage and a poor kick out of defence saw Brad Retigan make a great run, before offloading the perfect try scoring pass to winger Nat Farrell. Again Brandon was just a few metres short with the kick.
Thurrock were now in full flow, and a great break from scrum half Brandon saw him pass to the flying Worster who was in support for Thurrock’s unconverted third try.
T’s seemed to step back at this point and only a superb last ditch tackle at the corner flag stopped the home side from gaining their first score, after what had been a fine move by their backs.
However Tabard, now playing with a lot more fire and purpose, were not to be denied, and scored a converted try, just before the break, to leave the score at 7-15.
Thurrock started the second half with a lot more energy, and were camped in the Tabard half for at least twenty minutes, with some determined forward drives led by the indomitable Stef North. But staunch defence by Tabard, coupled with some uncharacteristic handling errors and poor decision making by T’s , and somehow Tabard held out.
On a rare foray into the Thurrock, Tabard were awarded a penalty, which they duly converted to make the score an interesting 10-15. Again this buoyed Tabard, who put in a series of attacks. Finally, however, a counter attack by T’s after a great jinking run by replacement winger Ali McDonald, who was only stopped by a scything high tackle, saw Brad Retigan gallop in under the posts for the bonus point 4th try. This time Brandon made no mistake with the conversion.
Rob Scott capped a great week, after getting into the England Colleges squad last Sunday, with a fine abrasive, display at hooker.
TEAM: Worster, Towler (McDonald), Gorman, Stanley, Farrell, Rudgely, Brandon, North, Scott (Love), Stevens, Herrington, Kettledon (Thorne), Flavin, Crowhurst, Retigan
This week Thurrock are at away to BRENTWOOD, kick off will be 2.15pm