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Southend Rugby Club's Chris Green thrilled by win against Clifton
SOUTHEND’S director of rugby Chris Green was a satisfied man after his side’s crucial 48-24 win against Clifton at Warners Bridge on Saturday.
The victory pushed the second from bottom Seasiders to within three points of safety.
And that delighted Green, whose team still have games in hand on the two teams directly above them in the table.
“I would’ve bitten your hand off if you had offered me five points before the game so I’m very happy,” said Green.
“We were 48-5 up at one stage so you’re being critical we probably allowed them to get too many points.
“But we got the result we needed and now we have to keep this going.
“We have Bournemouth and Barking in our next two games and they’re both very important.”
Southend will head in to the first of those matches, at home to Bournemouth this weekend, full of confidence after securing a second win in three games.
However, they were forced to come from behind against Clifton.
The Bristol based side went in front with a try from Sam Harrison but the Seasiders soon replied with a typical darting finish by scrum half Sam Arnott who dived over in the corner to make it 5-5.
Southend then went ahead in bizarre circumstances when Andrew Frost elected to try and kick a penalty.
But his effort against the stiff swirling breeze started right of the posts and then hooked wildly left.
Missing the left hand post by some distance the ball dipped sharply, catching the watching Clifton players by surprise.
It hit one of them on the shoulder and bounced away and into the grateful arms of Chris Vaughan who was racing forward in support of the kick.
He touched down smartly and Frost converted to put Southend 12-5 in front.
That advantage was soon stretched even further with a try from Harry Hudson and a penalty from Frost to give the home-side a 20-5 lead at half-time.
At the start of the second period, another souring kick saw fly half Bradley Burr bravely jump and snatch the ball out of the sky.
It was then swiftly moved across the field to speedster Mark Billings who raced forward over the line, he cut inside and touched down under the posts for an easy conversion from Frost.
The next 10 minutes saw a try fest from Southend with Burr, Andrew McClintock and replacement Danny Cleare all touching down.
Frost converted all of the tries to make it 48-5 but a number of changes disrupted their rhythm and that allowed Clifton back in to the game.
Matthew Salter, Bradley Barnes and Sam Smith touched down during the last 10 minutes but by then the Seasiders had already done enough to come out on top.