Colchester go down fighting in close-fought game that resulted in 13 tries!
PUBLISHED: 11:26 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:26 12 March 2018
Old Priorians 53 Colchester 42
In a close-fought match of great intensity OPs were the winners scoring seven tries to Colchester’s six, giving the visitors the small consolation of one league point to their five.
Colchester fielded a much changed team with a new half back combination of Matt Wadling and David Higgins and the inclusion of prop Alex Mitchell and wing Damien Brambley both playing for the first time in this team this season.
OPs opened the scoring after only five minutes, when swift handling by their backs put their left wing over in the corner. Ten minutes later the Blacks replied when Higgins kicked to the corner from where they attacked the line for Wadling to claim a good try to even the score.
Colchester’s pack were dominating the scrums with the front five working tirelessly under the leadership of skipper Liam Pickett. Indeed later on it was from a turnover scrum that Wadling fed Higgins who chipped over the defence to Brambley who ran in a try.
Colchester kept up the pressure and soon were back near OP’s line.
Over-eagerness by the defending No 8 saw him yellow carded and, taking advantage of their numerical superiority, the Blacks moved the ball to fullback Will Brown who cut through to score. Colchester were now 7-21 ahead but, before long OP’s hit back with a try of their own.
Back came Colchester from the restart and, following a succession of driving scrums, were awarded a penalty try to make the score 14-28.
Before long OP’s centre got his second try bringing the score closer at 21-28. Prop Simon Gray came on for Reid and newcomer Kiwi Chris Brown replaced Joe Beckett on the flank. Soon another pushover scrum by Blacks rewarded No 8 Harrison Pickett with a good forwards’ try but again OP’s hit back.
This seemed to inspire the hosts and over the next 20 minutes they scored three times. The Blacks tore up the field and lock Joe Colcomb crashed over for the final try. With time running out and behind 50-42, Colchester tried to bridge the gap but gave away a late penalty.