Essex Rugby: Colchester hit 100 points + Chelmsford and Braintree reports

James McRae in action for Colchester

James McRae in action for Colchester - Credit: Archant

Colchester achieved centurion status with an emphatic 100-0 victory over visitors Woodford, in London 1, on Saturday.

Colchester's Damo Brambley gets ready to pass to a team-mate

Colchester's Damo Brambley gets ready to pass to a team-mate - Credit: Archant

In an awesome display, 13 Colchester players scored 16 unanswered tries to demolish a struggling Woodford side.

The men in black scored more than 60 points for the fourth time this season, to the delight of the home crowd.

After a promising opening 15 minutes, Woodford crumbled and then just failed, in the last four minutes of the game, to keep the score down to two digits.

Liam Pickett started the rout with an unchallenged line-out take and dive over for the opening try, before Damien Brambley, James Crozier and Ben Murphy ensured the hosts notched up a bonus point.

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No. 8 James McRae then returned the restart kick in a 40-metre charge before Murphy raced in his second try in as many minutes.

A line-out catch and drive enabled prop James Mitchell to bulldoze over for a try from five metres, before flanker Ollie White ran in another from 35 metres.

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Liam Pickett returned the Woodford restart in a 50-metre charge that led to Brambley’s second try, before fly-half David Higgins added his fifth conversion for a 50-0 interval lead.

Injuries to Higgins and Brambley forced Colchester into a reshuffle and Matt Wadling was the next to touch down.

Centre Matt Smith then broke tackles at speed to score before James McRae jinked his way through a tired defence to add his try.

Skipper for the day Graeme Hay then got on the scoresheet, from a lineout steal, finishing the move he had started in his own half.

Further tries were added courtesy of Jay Hatcher, Liam Pickett and Dan Brennan but it looked as though Colchester were going to be denied getting to a century of points.

However, Colchester’s waves of attacks ended with a Cutbush try from a quick tap penalty, Crozier’s conversion taking the score to 100 points.


South Woodham Ferrers 68

Braintree 17

Braintree’s London 2 North status is looking under threat after suffering a sixth successive defeat.

They were beaten in ruthless fashion and joint coaches Gary Coote, Brian Joslin and Darren Page must be scratching their heads as to what they can do to put things right.

The visitors conceded two, quick converted tries, both from driving mauls, before things went from bad to worse when the hosts marched into 21-0 lead.

There was some relief when South Woodham had a man yellow-carded for failing to release a tackled player and John Smillie, from the back of a scrum, let flanker Wes Apps in to crash over for Braintree’s solitary try of the afternoon.

Kingsley Joslin kicked the extra points but the hosts added two further tries, one converted and one missed, to take a 33-7 interval lead.

After the break it was more one way traffic as South Woodham followed up an early converted try by scoring another on the break after a Braintree attack ended with a dropped ball.

A yellow card for replacement back George Crane for a tackle infringement didn’t help Braintree and they quickly conceded another try to a gathered kick through.

Apps was then also sin-binned along with the home side’s replacement prop, following a dust-up, and Ferrers added two further converted tries for a convincing 68-7 victory.

Chelmsford 33

Saffron Walden 26

Chelmsford returned to winning ways with a hard-fought win over a strong running Saffron Walden.

The hosts dominated the first half to take a 28-6 lead, scoring four tries. However, the visitors applied pressure themselves in the second half, leaving the hosts thankful to hang on at the end.

Chelmsford fly half Simon Hoult narrowly missed a first-minute penalty from 45 metres, however, several minutes later, flanker Chris Hoult was on hand to score wide out, Simon Hoult converting the try.

Five minutes later, Chelmsford were penalised for not rolling away from a tackle near to their line and the Saffron Walden full-back reduced the arrears.

With the slope and wind in their favour, Chelmsford began to exert pressure on their opponents and a series of scrums near to Walden’s line resulted in a penalty try that Simon Hoult converted.

Just minutes later, Chelmsford scored again when second row Nick Sany was on hand to pick up the loose ball, his try being converted by Hoult.

Saffron Walden then kicked a further penalty goal to make it 21-6 after the home side were caught offside in the centre.

Saffron Walden then lost their No 8 and a second row to injury, before Chelmsford suffered a blow themselves when hooker Seth Robinson had to be helped from the field with a calf injury.

Just before half time, Chelmsford scored their crucial fourth try when number 8 Simon Quinn scored an effort which was duly converted by Hoult.

Two early penalties for holding on in the tackle and offside saw the deficit cut to 28-12, but Chelmsford then increased their lead following a poor clearance kick from Walden after the restart, following the second penalty.

The ball went straight to wing Jamie Morrish and he broke through to fall just short of the line. However, with substitute prop Dean Lester in support, he pounced on the ball to score an unconverted try to take the home side into a 33-12 lead.

Saffron gradually applied some pressure and it came as no surprise when the visitors scored after 15 minutes.

Shortly afterwards Chelmsford could count themselves lucky when a certain try seemed on the cards, but number 8, Simon Quinn somehow wrestled the ball from the opposition’s hands.

With the clock ticking, Walden ran the ball from their own 22 metre line and scored a great try which was converted.

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