Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Rugby: Back to winning ways for Thurrock



THURROCK travelled to Staines and knew that getting back to winning ways was vitally important. The visitors made three changes from the previous week with Ben Madden coming in the centre and Ben Timson and James Flavin in the forwards The game started off at a frantic pace with both sides missing kickable penalties, but it was Thurrock who first got onto the score sheet when a neat box kick from Josh Cook was fielded well by Sam Boshell and he won the chase to the ball as he chipped over the cover defence to score in the corner, Frankie Neale made amends for his early penalty miss with an excellent conversion. Staines soon reduced the deficit when Lee kicked an easy penalty, but Thurrock kept up the pressure and forced a scrum close to the home sides line, despite Staines winning their own put in a great tackle from Nick Cooper-Hicks meant the Staines scrum half spilled the ball and No 8 Bradleigh Retigan had the easy task of falling on the ball to increase the Thurrock lead, Neale was just wide with the conversion.

Thurrock looked comfortable and deserved there lead over a very enthusiastic home side, but the last 10 minutes of the half is one they want to forget, as they conceded two tries, both catch and drives from a 5 metre line out, the first scored by Orpen-Palmer and the second by Ives, with Lee kicking the later effort to turn the game on its head and for Staines to head for the half time break with a lead.

The management read the riot act during the half time team talk, and the players responded in magnificent style. The game speeded up and Thurrock set about their attacking patterns, two penalties from Frankie Neale restored the advantage to Thurrock and has the game crept into the last 20 minutes Thurrock gave the travelling support a great end to the game with 5 unanswered tries, the turning point when the back row player of Staines Downey was given a yellow card for once too often slowing the ball down at the ruck.

Markus Burcham was first to score under the posts, as they capitalised a 10 minute spell against 14 men, Neale adding the conversion. Neale also started to run from deep and some fine running of angles took the game to a different level. There was a brace from winger Joe Hardy, who finished off a well worked move and the second chased down a delicate chip ahead from Neale. Introduction of three players from the bench see Sean Jones and Michael Thomas make their debuts, and evergreen Earl Gorman added impetus to the back line with his strong running and a further two for captain and man of the match Bradleigh Retigan in the closing five minutes added icing on the cake. Neale added 3 of the 5 conversions.

It was much needed confidence win and takes them in good heart for the visit of Dorking at Oakfield this Saturday.

TEAM: Neale, Boshell, Burcham, Madden, Hardy, Rudgeley, Cook, North, Keefe, Bevans-Royston, Flavin, Ben Thomas, Cooper-Hicks, Timson, Retigan
Rep; Michael Thomas, Gorman, Jones

This Saturday its 4th v 3rd as Thurrock entertain DORKING kick off at Oakfield is 3 pm,


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