Colchester rugby club get their new season off to winning start at North Walsham
- Credit: Archant
Colchester got their London 1 North season up and running with a fine win at North Walsham Vikings, writes Steve Whiteman
The team, lead once again by lock Liam Pickett, was a combination of 13 of last season’s regular players plus five new ones recruited during the summer from the Colts and local schools.
The newcomers included Joe Reid, Joe Colcomb and Joe Cook in the forwards and the exciting talent of Will Brown at full back with front row replacement Simon Gray on the bench.
The excellent weather conditions resulted in good running rugby and 100% success for both teams’ kickers. The first ten minutes saw both sides testing each other’s strengths and weaknesses until the visitors were awarded a free kick.
Fly half David Higgins missed a speculative drop goal but then the ball was moved to left wing James Crozier who cut through the defence to score Colchester’s first try.
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Not to be outdone Viking’s fly-half Jake Duffield soon scored a try at the other end of the pitch making the scores even at 7-7.
After the restart, Black’s centre George Liveridge earned a penalty which Higgins duly converted putting Colchester back in the lead 7-10. Colchester continued to exert pressure earning yet another penalty extending their score 7-13 . Reid was replaced by Gray and at this point Vikings edged into the lead when lock Roydon Miller scored in clubhouse corner to the delight of the home fans.
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Just before half-time Vikings extended their lead by three points when a Colchester player was caught boring in a scrum bringing the half-time score to 17-13.
Invigorated after the break the Blacks attacked immediately and were jubilant when flanker Danny Whiteman intercepted a Viking pass and ran 50 metres to score a great try under the posts putting them back in the lead. The Vikings responded well moving the ball to left wing James Riley whose well-timed pass put Duffield in for his second try.
Colchester’s tighthead prop James Mitchell was putting in some sterling work in the tight and the loose play and was replaced by Reid for the final part of the game. Colchester’s set pieces were improving as the game progressed and from a scrum near the Vikings’ line skipper Pickett piled over to bring the score to 24-27.
In the final quarter of the game Colchester’s superior fitness began to tell and scrum-half Brett Cutbush skipped through to score a fine try which was shortly afterwards added to by a successful penalty by his partner Higgins as the game drew to a close with the men in Black claiming a bonus point victory 24-37.