Colchester 1st XV 38 Diss RFC 14
Second half flurry of tries earns Colchester 1st XV their second bonus point win in a row
To sum up Colchester’s first home game versus Norfolk side Diss might be to say “Good start, mediocre middle & fantastic finish!”. They fielded the same team that finished their previous game with the exception of centre George Liversidge in whose place started newcomer Shelford Meads a utility back recently arrived from New Zealand. His impact on the game was immediate when, following a Diss kick off, he broke through the defence and fed Brett Cutbush for a quick ‘Kiwi’ try that fly half David Higgins converted.
Diss soon retaliated using their bulky forwards to probe the home defence with No 8 Steve Hipwell in particular causing problems for the home defence. But the defence stood firm and the Blacks’ centres Meads and Dave Brennan often surged forward themselves ably supported by the back row. Fullback Will Brown caught the eye with his electric pace in attack and sound tackling in defence.
The game raged to and fro for the next 30 minutes during which prop Joe Reid was replaced by Jerone Awesu and flanker Danny Whiteman left the field also when he was yellow carded by referee Andy Green. The impasse was broken when, following a successful Black scrum, the ball was moved to Meads to score his debut try & giving them a 14 -0 lead.
Spurred into action Diss attacked the home line after their restart and flanker John Laurie crossed for a converted try. Soon it was Colchester’s turn again when Brennan cut through the defence and fed Brown who sped through to claim his second try making the halftime score 19-7.
Unfortunately, after the interval, Colchester were unable to realise their obvious potential making some basic errors. At one stage when they were close to Diss’s line a long pass was intercepted which nearly led to a try at the other end. Diss nearly scored again shortly after this but knocked the ball forward over the host’s line. Their efforts were eventually rewarded when they moved the ball to right wing Fred Precious who improved their score to 19-14.
In the final quarter Colchester seemed to come alive and right wing Harry Barton’s try attempt in the right corner was disallowed before he was successful in the left moments later. His fellow wing James Crozier converted and suddenly the Blacks tails were up leading 26-14.
From the restart Brown speedily charged 50 metres into the opposition half leaving the defence in his wake, offloaded to Cutbush who put Crozier over for a brilliant converted try. The fullback finished a virtuoso performance with another try in the dying moments of the game to give Colchester a bonus point victory.