Saturday, July 20, 2024

Rugby: Thurrock blast back with superb victory

SSE NATIONAL 3 (LSE)

WESTCLIFF 21 v 51 THURROCK

AFTER the disappointment of the previous week, Thurrock bounced back in style to record a well deserved victory at very hot and sunny Gables. A couple of enforced changes in the pack meant that Ben Timson moved up to second row allowing Charlie Russo into the back row and Christian Rate replaced Aston Bevans-Royston who was on holiday, in the backs the mercurial Michael Stanley was fit and took his place in the centre.

The game started well for the home side within 5 minutes quick hand and some poor defence allowed Jones to score under the posts, with McKeith adding the conversion the home side led 7-0. Thurrock slowly got back into the game and Frankie Neale calmly slotted a penalty to reduce the deficit, but two tries in five minutes changed the complexion of the match as first Michael Stanley chased and reached his grubber to touch down and some good hand down the blind side gave Josh Cook the opportunity to crash over, Neale converted the former and Thurrock were now 10 points ahead. A yellow card to Thurrock second row close to the end of the half was a little harsh but Thurrock were made to pay as Westcliff exploited there extra man advantage with another try for winger Jones, McKeith added an easy conversion in front of the posts, back to full strength with just 2 minutes to the break Thurrock were awarded a penalty just inside the Westcliff half, Neale stepped up and coolly slotted over a 45 metres penalty for a 20-14 lead at the half time whistle.

The game was certainly in the balance at the second started but a 10 minute spell of 3 tries in 10 minutes all from Michael Stanley to take his match tally to 4 put the game beyond doubt, two of which was converted by Neale, and all of a sudden Thurrock had stretched their lead to 39-14. Thurrock were able to make some changes but further tries from Ben Timson and Josh Cook adding his second to take the score to 50 plus points. Westcliff however responded with a consolation try from Harvey again converted by McKeith With just 7 minutes left Thurrock were happy with the victory ran the clock down to secure their first bonus point win of the season.

TEAM: Neale, Farrell, M.Stanley (Gorman62m), Burcham, Hardy Rudgeley, Cook, North, Durrance, Rate (Carey 65m) Flavin, Timson, Russo (Cooper-Hicks 65m), Reed, Retigan

This Saturday Thurrock host TRING kick off at OAKFIELD is 3pm

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