London 1 North: Colchester 85 Old Priorians 0
- Credit: Lucy taylor
Colchester achieved a comprehensive 13-try bonanza against league newcomers Old Priorians and kept the pressure on leaders Eton Manor, who won at Ipswich.
Fly half David Higgins converted all but three of these scores, earning the Blacks a bonus point plus building on their impressive scoring record this season.
Colchester fielded a strong team with a couple of changes from the previous game, hooker Charlie Thorogood replacing injured Dan Brennan, and colt Harry Gozzett making his first team debut, standing in for Harry Whiteman.
After a hesitant start, Colchester got into their stride when lock Graeme Hay burst down the middle and offloaded to No 8 James McCrae who scored under the posts.
Scrum half Matt Wadling did much to influence the next score when he took a quick tap penalty for centre James Greene to touch down by the posts.
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Outside centre Matt Smith then got the first of his two scores but, not to be outdone by the backs, the forwards gathered the high ball from the restart and prop Jay Hatcher made 50 metres before feeding Hay who outstripped the defence to score under the posts.
Smith earned his second score with a fine individual effort and this brought the half-time score to 49-0, all seven tries converted by Higgins.
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Crucially the Blacks did not ease off in the second half, adding another six tries, despite the despairing efforts of the visitors.
Crozier scored his second try after running down the wing, before flanker Ollie Pickett made an 80-metre dash which ended with a try under the posts.
Next, Colchester’s forwards took advantage of Old Priorians’ weakened scrum when their tighthead prop was yellow-carded and pushed it back over the tryline for McCrae to claim his second score.
It was now 66-0 but Thorogood kept up the pace when he burst through a lineout and scored the 11th try.
Two more scores completed the rout.