London NE2: Holt 17, Rochford Hundred 14
Holt entertained Rochford Hundred at Bridge Road in London North East Division Two on a damp, drizzly day, and were looking to continue improving their form against a side deservedly five places above them in the league.
The early phases of the game were controlled by Rochford who sought to open the scoring as they drove into Holt's half with a powerful forward display. Holt relieved the pressure with an early penalty allowing them to move away from their lines. From the resultant line out, Holt drove up the field and were awarded a scrum near the Rochford line, Woods scoring from a push over try which was not converted.
From the kick-off the hosts conceded a penalty for coming in at the side which was converted by Rochford making the score 5-3. The following 20 minutes end-to-end with both defences forcing attacking errors. Frustration crept into the game as both sides gave away several penalties culminating in a yellow card for Rochford.
As the half drew to a close, and with both sides back to their full compliment, Rochford missed a touch kick which was gathered by the Holt fullback, Howick, who passed several players as he countered before being dragged down by the scrambled defence. The Holt pack were quick to follow up and drove the ball on, leading to a driving maul resulting in an unconverted try, scored by Amiss, making the half time score 10-3.
The weather brightened up as the 2nd half started and Rochford drove into the Holt midfield, who repeatedly slowed the attack down by giving away penalties, resulting in the homeside being reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes. This final penalty, in front of the posts, was converted by Rochford making the score 10-6. Undaunted by being a player down the Holt pack again drove into the Rochford half. Quick ball from a breakdown saw the Holt backs take the attack culminating in a sublime move where Loan threw a wide miss pass which found Riley, taking the ball at pace, flying down the left wing. As the winger stepped inside he was tackled, but not before off loading to the supporting Jarry-Ryan who scored a converted try making the score 17-6.
Holt now sought to open the game up, as they looked for the bonus point try. However, the loose play allowed Rochford to counter, thus scoring an unconverted try from a driving maul. This was quickly followed by Holt conceding a further penalty in their own half which was converted bringing the score to 17-14.
The game concluded with neither side adding to the score. In a hard fought contest Holt's Woodforde's man of the match was Damon Howick.