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T's forwards too hot for Staines
10:00am Thursday 18th October 2012 in Sport
RUGBY: TRAVELLING Thurrock beat Staines in a match which was key to restoring T’s self confidence. The visitors made three changes from the previous week with Ben Madden coming into the centre and Ben Timson and James Flavin in the forwards.
Thurrock got onto the scoresheet first when a neat box kick from Josh Cook was fielded well by Sam Boshell.
He won the chase to the ball as he chipped over the cover defence to score in the corner. And Frankie Neale made amends for an early penalty miss with an excellent conversion. Staines soon reduced the deficit when Lee kicked an easy penalty, but Thurrock kept up the pressure and forced a scrum close to the home side’s line. Despite Staines winning their own put in, a great tackle from Nick Cooper-Hicks meant the Staines scrum half spilled the ball and No 8 Bradleigh Retigan increased the Thurrock lead. But Neale was just wide with the conversion.
Thurrock looked comfortable and deserved their lead over a very enthusiastic home side. But the last 10 minutes of the half is one they will want to forget, as they conceded two tries, both catch and drives from a five metre line out. The first was scored by Orpen-Palmer and the second by Ives, with Lee kicking the latter effort to turn the game on its head and for Staines to head for the half time break with a lead.
The management read the riot act to the T’s during the break and the players responded magnificently. Thurrock set about their attacking patterns. Two penalties from Frankie Neale restored the advantage to Thurrock and as the game crept into the last 20 minutes Thurrock gave the travelling support a great end to the match. They bagged five unanswered tries, with the turning point being when a Staines back row player was given a yellow card for once too often slowing the ball down at the ruck. Markus Burcham was first to score under the posts, as T’s capitalised in a 10 minute spell against 14 men, Neale adding the conversion. Neale also started to run from deep and – running some fine angles – took the game to Staines. There was a brace from winger Joe Hardy, who finished off a well worked move and the second chased down a chip ahead. T’s Sean Jones and Michael Thomas made their debuts, and evergreen Earl Gorman added impetus to the back line with his strong running. A further two tries for captain and man of the match Bradleigh Retigan in the closing five minutes added icing to the cake. Neale added three of the five conversions.
It was much needed confidence win and takes them in good heart for the visit of Dorking at Oakfield tomorrow (Saturday). Tomorrow its 4ths v 3rds as Thurrock entertain Dorking at Oakfield at 3pm.
For the borough's rugby see Friday's THURROCK GAZETTE