GALLERY: Colchester Rugby Club run riot in huge derby victoy over Ipswich rivals
- Credit: Lucy taylor
London 1 North Colchester 67 Ipswich 7 Ipswich won promotion to London League One with several big wins against league opposition last season and showed evidence of a well drilled and organised team. But in Colchester they came up against a team playing with purpose, determination, skills and speed they were simply unable to match on the day.
The preparation of coaches Anthony O’Riordan, Nic Lloyd and Lee Soper came good as Colchester’s forwards regularly turned over ball in the tight and loose, linking with their ever-threatening pacey backs who mixed running and kicking to good effect.
Proactive front foot defence frequently drove Ipswich back even when they had possession. Colchester gelled to produce exciting running rugby to the delight of the home supporters as James McRae at 8 and James Green at 12 made impressive home debuts.
Colchester surged into an early lead. A break by centre Matt Smith and follow up deft kick into space by flyhalf David Higgins created a try for right wing Dave Brennan.
The restart kick was returned, young prop Jerome Awesu dragging in tacklers before offloading in the tackle to Matt Smith who repeated to send left wing James Crozier in for a try.
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Charges by Ollie Pickett, McRae and Awesu unsettled Ipswich, scrumhalf Matt Wadling catching a retreating Ipswich defence off-guard with a quick-thinking tap penalty to set James Green in for his first try for the club.
Penalties were kicked to touch not goal, justified with a lineout catch and drive try for flanker Pickett - the fourth try earning Colchester a bonus point before the half hour.
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Overconfidence proved costly though as loose passing by Colchester led to a well taken interception try by Ipswich flanker Craig Wilson, converted by skipper and former Colchester centre James Denham.
Colchester replied immediately, the restart kick taken by lock Liam Pickett and driven on by McRae and Wadling closing to the line before Awesu dragged tacklers over the line to score.
Higgins added his second conversion for a 29-7 half-time lead.
Ipswich took the game to Colchester at the start of the second half before a howitzer kick from Higgins took the game from the Colchester to the Ipswich 22.
Rushed defence saw the clearance kick fielded by Colchester prop Jay Hatcher, who charged towards the opposition line, dynamo flanker Danny Whiteman setting Matt Smith to race in a try.
Ipswich’s long restart kick was again boomed back by Higgins, the resultant lineout stolen by Ollie Pickett for Higgins to craft a chip over the flat Ipswich defence for Whiteman to race onto and touchdown.
Young referee Michael Woods impressed with his clear decisions but was left with no option after warnings but to yellow card Ipswich flanker Wilson for repeatedly not rolling away at the tackle.
Colchester exploited their man advantage to good effect. Hard tackling forced a fumble that Wadling seized to cross for his first try for the senior side, much to the delight of club president, dad Andy.
The restart kick was taken by McRae who raced through the onrushing Ipswich pack before dummying, sidestepping and racing in a spectacular solo try from his own half.
The dominant scrum delivered a sound platform for a training ground move that saw James Green cross unopposed for his second try.
Replacement centre Ben Murphy rounded off the try feast racing in the final touchdown, Higgins adding his sixth conversion of the game to take the final score to 67-7.