Billy Driver knows Southend Rugby Club will get firing on all cylinders

BILLY Driver was unable to stop Southend suffering a 51-14 defeat at Canterbury on Saturday.

But the winger remains certain the Seasiders will soon work their way up the National Two standings.

“I am 100 per cent sure that we won’t be towards the bottom of the table come the end of the season,” said Driver, 22.

“I don’t know why things aren’t going our way at the moment but we have a group of good players here and things will definitely come together for us soon.”

However, Southend are currently struggling to impress on a consistent basis and have now lost five of their last six matches to sink to third from bottom in the table.

Their latest defeat came in Canterbury but Driver felt the final score-line did not reflect the closeness of the game.

“I thought the result flattered Canterbury in the end if I’m honest,” said Driver, who scored his second try of the season during the defeat.

“They went from 25 points to 50 points in no time at all and we were punished for any slight lapse we made.”

The first of those came after just four minutes when Sonny Gay failed to collect a high cross ball. After allowing it to bounce he was quickly smothered by the advancing Canterbury players and the ball was turned over, leaving him injured on the ground.

Canterbury took full advantage with full back Martyn Beaumont racing clear and touching down in the corner.

The conversion attempt failed but the damage was compounded when Gay had to leave the field and was replaced by Danny Cleare. Southend tried to respond positively but some loose handling and turnovers at the breakdown gave the ball back to Canterbury on many occasions.

One such error allowed Canterbury to score their second try as winger Ricky Mackintosh touched down to make it 10-0.

Play continued back and forth but Southend were unable to build any momentum.

Continued errors and penalties frustrated them time and time again and Canterbury were having much the best of play.

As a result, the Kent club went further ahead in the 30th minute when their other winger Kwaku Asiedu burst through three missed tackles to score.

The difficult conversion was missed again but the score moved on to 15-0.

Southend seemed lost but just on half time replacement back row Jamie Douglas forced his way over the line following some sustained pressure from the pack.

Bradley Burr converted and Southend went in to the break within touching distance at 15-7 down.

But, two minutes after the break, Scott Browne kicked a penalty before converting a try of his own.

Ruairi McLeod then also went through with Browne adding the extras to make it 32-7.

The Seasiders hit back with Driver scoring a try which Liam MacGeachy converted.

However, Canterbury made sure of the win with Beaumont adding a further three tries with Browne again the extras to pile more misery on Southend who have still not won away from home in 2012.

Southend: Gay, Billings, Vaughan, MacGeachy, Driver, Burr, Branch, M Guess, Grier, Bailey, McClintock, Ox, Barker, Hudson, Cook

Replacements: Strachan, Keenan, Douglas, Sansom & Cleare

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