IMPRESSIVE START FOR SECOND PART OF SEASON
Report by Graham Pratt
Rochford could not have asked for a better start after Christmas to keep up their challenge for the league title with this emphatic victory.
What was also pleasing was they did not concede a point to the opposition. The home side hit the ground running with an exhibition of fast, running rugby mixed with some powerful forward play and they could have scored more points in doing so.
Another master class in attacking full back play from mark billings was a joy to watch as he went over for five tries. Captain Matt Stewart, playing on the wing, also had an excellent game running in three tries.
Two tries from second row Sam Fombo and another by the other wing Sam Edwards made a total of eleven tries and centre Tom Ashton added seven conversions.
Ipswich tried to compete all match, but it was a very big ask as all their efforts were nullified by strong Rochford defence and counterattack.
Stewart opened the scoring in the first few minutes with a well taken opportunist try and then it was just a steady flow of scores to take the lead to 43-0 at the half time break.
The second session was a more stop start affair with the whistle being blown for numerous offences which upset the rhythm of play but still allowed a further 26 points added to the board.
The Rochford set scrum looked strong and aggressive whilst the lineout was, once again, dominated by Luke Court–Rhind and Sam Fombo ably assisted at the back by flanker Stuart Whatling.
With plenty of good, fast ball the Rochford backs enjoyed their afternoon running at pace and when there was a breakdown it was the Rochford loose forwards that won and turned ball over on many occasions.
Due credit to the Suffolk outfit who fought hard all game and had periods of pressure but in the end, it was Rochford’s day.
It was good to see hooker Tom Corbet make a welcome return to the side and for recent signings Lewis Brunger and Ben Johnson who both showed that they are settling into the team well.
The only downer was a calf injury to super prop Craig Strachan who might have to miss a couple of games, but we shall have to wait and see.
Next week away to Cambridge side Cantabrigians