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Rochford Hundred triumph in Basildon derby clash
ROCHFORD Hundred made it back-to-back wins at the start of the London Two North East season with a 47-17 victory against Basildon.
The two teams were both relegated from London One North last term. But it was Rochford who came out on top at Magnolia Road, much to the delight of their director of rugby George Fouche.
“It’s been a satisfactory start for us and it was good to get another win,” said Fouche, who led Hundred to promotion during his previous spell in charge nine years ago.
“We have high expectations this year and we’re not hiding the fact that promotion is our aim this year.”
Matt Stewart scored a hat-trick of tries for Rochford, while Scott Chivers touched down twice. Michael Stemp also went through, while Hundred were awarded a penalty try and Tom Ashton added six conversions.
Despite the final scoreline, it was Basildon who were initially on top at Magnolia Road. The visitors started brightly and were camped on Rochford’s line for around 10 minutes, but they were unable to make a breakthrough.
Rochford took full advantage by scoring a superb breakaway try and this galvanised the home side into action. They enjoyed a spell of pressure on Basildon’s line which resulted in a yellow card for the visitors’ Jim Harman and a penalty try.
Another fine move put Rochford 19-0 ahead but back come Basildon with scrum half James White setting up number eight Mike Thomas to score.
Hundred hit back with another try to put them 26-5 up at half-time and the second period started with the home side powering over for a converted try.
Basildon again hit back when White charged forward before passing to Daniel Dieu de la Bellefontaine who drew the defence and passed to Greg Smith who ran 30 metres before touching down.
The same combination then cut Rochford's lead to 33-17 but any hopes of a Basildon comeback were ended by two late Rochford tries.
But Basildon press officer Derek Lockett insisted the team were not too downhearted.
“We can hold our heads up after a spirited performance,” said Lockett.
“We were unlucky not to get a bonus point.