Rugby: Thurrock struggle to overcome lowly Walsham

LONDON 1 (N) NORTH WALSHAM 12 v 17 THURROCK

DESPITE being at the bottom of the league lowly North Walsham made Thurrock fight all the way at Scottow on Saturday. The opening few minutes looked good for the away side as they mounted a couple of attacks from deep, but they came to nothing, which seemed to hand the impetus back to the home side. They put Thurrock on the back foot with the Walsham back row making yards close to the fringes, the home side took control of the game, and some indiscipline from the visitors did not help their cause. 3 penalties from the boot of Henry Dewing put Walsham deservedly ahead 9-0 just after the half an hour mark. Despite playing well below standard in the first half Thurrock managed to string some phases together, and just before the break they made a breakthrough as Darryl Worster finished some fine work in the backs to score wide out in the corner, to finish the half trailing by only 9-5

The half time break gave Thurrock time to regroup and they made some changes which helped ignite a great start to the second half. Seb Rate came on in the front row at the break and minutes into the half Ross Boshier and Nat Farrell entered the proceedings at the expense of Ben Timson and Jake Barrand. Within minutes of coming on Nat Farrell was given a yard of space and gratefully accepted the chance to waltz round the outside to score close to the posts, Mike Stanley made the conversion to put Thurrock ahead 12-9

Thurrock continued to dominate the game and looked dangerous now they had got their game together but again the referee started to penalise the visitors. Dritan Loka was sin binned for offside one of too many penalties for the refs liking, but even down to 14 men, Thurrock still continued to attack and it was Farrell again that extended the lead with almost a carbon copy of his first try to lead 17-9. Thurrock now looked comfortable and was pressing for their fourth try, but it all changed when the home side suffered two injuries in the front row and the game went to uncontested scrums. This gave the home side a chance to have a base to attack from, and this put Thurrock on the back foot but great defence and counter rucking gave them only a further penalty to show for their last few minutes of pressure in the Thurrock half.

All in all it was a win on the road for Thurrock, whose opponents seem to raise their game when welcoming them, but they dug deep and deserved the victory for the second half performance.

TEAM: Worster, Boshell, B.Stanley, M.Stanley, Barrand (Farrell 50m) Rudgeley, Cook, North, Murphy, C.Rate (S,Rate 40m), Loka, Cooper-Hicks, Kyle Tucker, Timson (Boshier 50m), Garth Tucker

This Saturday Thurrock stage the biggest game of the season so far when they entertain league leaders COLCHESTER who remain unbeaten so far. Kick Off at Oakfield is at 3pm

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