Monday, December 4, 2023

Rugby: Thurrock suffer home defeat against tough Westcombe



Thurrock welcomed Westcombe Park to Oakfield on yet another sunny and dry Saturday. Thurrock was keen to shake off the narrow defeat they suffered the previous week, and the visitors trying to get a settled side after a spate of long term injuries.

It was a bruising encounter in front of a good sized crowd that included a good following who crossed the river from Kent in support of the Orpington based team. The visitors made a great start. In the opening minutes a penalty kick to the posts went wide, but they soon took the lead, with a couple of pick and drives Trent Nattrass went in by the posts for the first try of the day. The conversion attempt hit the post.

Almost immediately from the re-start the visitors offended and Thurrock full back Frankie Neale put over the penalty for reduce the deficit to 5-3. Scrums and line-outs were not settled, but Thurrock shading the line outs, Neale had another pot at goal, but this one went wide. Twenty minutes into the first half Westcombe Park then stretched their lead from a scrum in midfield, a gap opened up for fly half Nattrass to cruise to the posts again for his second try Simpson added the conversion. There were mistakes from both sides trying to force the game, with loose passes or knock-on’s, Thurrock also guilty of spilling the ball in the tackle certainly both defences were brutal and uncompromising.

The second half began in similar fashion, but the deadlock was broke when a superb counter attacking move from Thurrock saw centres Markus Burcham and Earl Gorman combining giving a perfectly timed pass to winger Sam Boshell who still had a bit to do running the tramline and outpacing the visitors defence to score wide out, Full back Frankie Neale added the conversion.

Thurrock defence had tightened up and five minutes later Thurrock should have taken the lead an attack down the right with Westcombe Park having three men down and laid out, but what should have been a scoring pass went behind Boshell and the chance was lost.

This perhaps was the turning point, as this gave the visitors renewed confidence some fierce tackling forced Thurrock into errors and under pressure Thurrock conceded penalties, two of which Luke Giles gratefully put over. Thurrock with little time remaining had to chase the game and from another Thurrock error Niki Davies went over in the corner to seal a well earned victory for the visitors. The conversion was missed albiet the last moment in the game, for both sides the battering and bruising was over.

TEAM: Neale, Boshell, Burcham, Gorman, Hardy, Rudgeley, Cook, North, Keefe, Bevans-Royston, Pearce, Thomas, Cooper-Hicks, Russo, Retigan

Rep Rate, Flavin, Bedding

This Saturday Thurrock travel to STAINES kick off is 3 pm, with the coach leaving at Noon


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