LONDON 1 NORTH: Luton 29 Colchester 15
Colchester threw this game away as passing and handling errors cost attacking position and led to Luton scoring two tries that were to prove to be the difference in this London 1 North fixture.
Rick Hobbs’ early penalty kick opened the scoring for Luton, after a tackler failed to roll away. Colchester replied with a series of forward drives to move into their hosts’ 22 but a loose pass gifted ball to Luton who broke upfield.
A high tackle penalty led to a kick to the corner followed by a scrum, Luton’s forwards driving to the line where No. 8 Jack Hilson crashed over.
Luton continued to press, their dummy runners bamboozling Colchester’s defence for centre Steve Ellis’ well-angled run, which set Jake Hobbs in for the best try of the day.
Another attack saw the ball held up as Luton crossed the Colchester line, before Tom Wilmore scored wide, Rick Hobbs adding his third conversion for the 24-0 lead on 33 minutes.
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Colchester rallied and centre Matt Smith and wing Simon Parkinson closed to the Luton line but another loose pass to a home player saw the advantage lost.
Fly-half David Higgins’ long penalty kick returned Colchester to the Luton 22, lock Graeme Hay emerging from the ensuing lineout huddle to race 15 metres for Colchester’s first try on half-time to turn around 24-5 down.
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Colchester dominated the start of the second half and teamwork gained ground over several phases, which led to Ollie Pickett eventually bulldozing over for a try. Higgins added the touchline conversion.
Colchester besieged the Luton line for the next 15 minutes, Higgins adding a penalty kick, before waves of attacks were thwarted close in by the opposition.
Luton’s stonewall defence held until Colchester spilled the ball, Ellis’ meandering run and kick to touch ending the siege.
From the line-out, scrappy ball was won by Colchester and should have been kicked away, but another loose pass saw the ball thrown dead.
The following scrum five was driven on by the Luton pack, Jack Elston grounding the ball for Luton’s bonus-point try.
Colchester returned to the attack, Brambley and Pickett making ground, but Cutbush’s chip and chase was narrowly touched down by Luton who held on to close out the game for their deserved win.