UNBEATEN ROCHFORD LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEW YEAR
Report by Graham Pratt
With the drubbing Rochford gave Chelmsford in their early season match expectations were high that we would be entertained by a festive encounter to take into Christmas.
Unfortunately, this game did not reach that height although the visitors did score 9 tries it was not the vintage performance that they had set themselves to attain.
It was a dour, scrappy , affair with many stoppages for basic infringements and which did not allow Rochford to get any rhythm into their play.
Chelmsford, to their credit, were a better team than previously and played well to put Rochford off of their stride.
Having said all that the league leaders were still by far the better outfit and showed that when they opened up to run in all those tries. By their standards, however, it was an average way to finish the half point of the season.
Rochford started at a pace going up the hill in the first half and nearly scored a couple of times, but it was Chelmsford that opened the scoring with a penalty kick to take the lead.
The visitors soon struck back after some powerful forward play which saw new signing prop Lewis Brunger, drive over the line to ground the ball. Brunger is a big, strong player and will certainly be an asset to the side once he gets to know people around him and he had an encouraging debut.
The boys started to put some good rugby together and wing Sam Edwards finished off a pacey move by darting in at the corner and Tom Ashton added the two points.
Edwards, once again, went over after some intelligent play in the backs when Ben Johnson broke through to feed the winger.
At this stage it looked like the flood gates would be opened but Chelmsford fought back and scored a try of their own to take the score line to 17 – 8. However, Rochford finished the first half strongly with a well taken adam ferrier try and turned around
22 – 8 ahead.
The game had been, for the most part, full of missed opportunities and a number of stoppages which did not help as the Chelmsford pack was big and strong and gave the Rochford eight plenty to think about in the set pieces, particularly the set scrummage and lineout which were very hit and miss.
New centre Johnson opened the second session’s scoring with a powerful run and which Ashton duly converted.
Next up was hooker adam ferrier again, who was having a storming game, when he grounded in the corner and Ashton kicked a terrific conversion to increase the lead to 36-8.
Ferrier then decided he wanted to score in the other corner which he did after some excellent interplay by second rows Sam Fombo and Luke Court-Rhind. Not to be out done Ashton struck a wonderful conversion from way out.
The home side, who had battled all afternoon to keep their more exalted opponents at bay, were rewarded for their sterling efforts with a breakaway try before scrum half Ricki Gould dived over the line. Matt Stewart kicked the conversion to bring up the fifty points.
Matches this season are never the same without a mark billings try and he duly obliged with a lovely individual effort late in the game and Stewart ended the scoring with the conversion kick.
It sounds that it was all one-way traffic but that was not the case as Chelmsford played well to restrict Rochford from scoring more tries and never gave up the fight.
Hundred, for their part, made it hard for themselves by making basic errors and lacked cohesion at times and on their own admission knew that they can do a great deal better.
With the Christmas break ahead and the next game at home against Ipswich on 6th January they know that they are going to have to hit the ground running and I am sure that their coaches will make sure they do.
An exciting second half of the season to come and a big thank you to this talented team for providing such entertainment and success so far. Well done you boys and let’s go on to achieve even more.