Colchester adapt better to the conditions in win at Old Haberdashers

Dan Whiteman charges through the defensive line at Old Haberdashers. Photo: RICHARD PARKER

Dan Whiteman charges through the defensive line at Old Haberdashers. Photo: RICHARD PARKER - Credit: Archant

Old Haberdashers 14 Colchester 19

Scrum half Brett Cutbush gets ready to set up Colchester’s next phase.

Scrum half Brett Cutbush gets ready to set up Colchesters next phase. - Credit: Archant

The wet and muddy pitch at Borehamwood didn’t allow for the free-flowing rugby that both these sides excel at but at the end of the day Colchester adjusted better to the conditions.

Old Haberdashers started well and were on top in the set-pieces but this situation changed as the pitch became more soggy.

They won a line-out near the Blacks’ line and ran in a try that their fly half converted putting them 7-0 ahead after only ten minutes.

As conditions deteriorated in the steady drizzle the visitors raised their game and the battle was on.

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In an effort to relieve the pressure of an attack by Colchester, the hosts’ fly half made the mistake of kicking the ball down field to full back Will Brown who darted back through the defence to put wing James Crozier over for a try in the corner.

From the restart Colchester caught the ball and kept possession through several phases working their way towards the Old Haberdashers’ line.

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After a successful scrum No 9 Brett Cutbush kicked the ball through but the chasing backs knocked it forward. However, Colchester turned over the subsequent scrum and Cutbush picked it up and dived over for a converted try putting Colchester 7-12 in the lead at half time.

Ten minutes into the second half, Old Haberdashers regained the lead when they won a scrum close to the Blacks’ line and the ball was moved to the inside centre who found a gap in the otherwise solid defence and scored a converted try.

At this point Colchester concentrated on their ‘pick and go’ tactic by the forwards with man after man bludgeoning forward with ball in hand making sure they kept possession.

Prop Joe Reid was adept at this as were his fellow front row players Charlie Thorogood and Joe McMillan. Eventually the Blacks had progressed slowly but surely to within five metres of the home try line. From the back of a ruck in a rehearsed move Cutbush, unseen by the opposition, slipped the ball to flanker Danny Whiteman who quickly released Harrison Pickett to crash over the line. Crozier converted and the visitors claimed victory.

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