Colchester Rugby Club give it their all but come up short at Hertford
- Credit: Archant
National League 3 - Hertford 27 Colchester 18
Colchester gave their all but could not overcome an experienced Hertford side in a game spoiled for both teams by an outbreak of yellow fever.
The referee’s use of yellow cards and lengthy lectures disrupted play in a game with little foul play by either team.
Colchester’s possession and position were not reflected on the scoreboard at a time when relegation threatens and points are precious.
Skipper Liam Pickett once more led by example, dominating the line-out with support from veteran lock Eli Castle and flanker Rob Pickard.
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The Hertford pack settled more quickly than their visitors who conceded a scrum penalty, converted into three points by home fly-half Ben Lloyd. Colchester responded by driving to the Hertford line where handling in a ruck cost the hosts a penalty that James Crozier kicked to level the scores.
Colchester continued to press, not releasing earning another penalty Crozier kicked to put them ahead.
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Eli Castle was felled by a high tackle, the referee raising an arm to indicate a penalty but allowing play to continue until Colchester were penalized for handling on the floor. Hertford kicked the penalty to the corner, a line-out win leading to a try for flanker Chris Joannu.
Colchester replacement flanker Alex Rayment came on whilst hard tackling Joe Flexman received treatment – only to be yellow carded on his first contact for not releasing. Hertford used their man advantage to good effect, wing Michael Allan scoring a try Elliott converted for the halftime 20-6 lead.
A Colchester knock on from the restart kick gifted Hertford field position, a series of driving scrums ending with a pushover try. Colchester rallied and went on to dominate possession and position for the majority of the second half.
The Colchester pack rumbled forward in a series of pick and go drives, forcing their way to their opponent’s tryline where wing Jordan Fenton crossed out wide for a try.
Cuttbush’s quick thinking ended Colchester frustration with a hoisted kick to the corner where full back Damien Brambley plucked the ball out of the air to score. Crozier’s conversion ended the scoring.