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Westcliff Rugby Club top table for best teams in England
WESTCLIFF have made a better start to their season than any other team in the country after thrashing Ruislip 83-19 in London One North on Saturday.
The victory was table-topping Westcliff’s fifth in a row.
And, having also scored a total of 192 points to maintain that unbeaten run, the Aviation Way-based club have a better record than any other team in England, much to the delight of their influential fly half Ben McKeith.
“After Saturday’s big win we thought we would check where we stood and it was great to find out that we are the team in the country with the best record so far this year,” said McKeith.
“I like to keep my eye on these things to see how friends and ex-team-mates across the country are getting on.
“A few years ago when we got promoted to National Three, Paul Radley was in the top three try-scorers across the country and he still likes to remind us about that.
“Nationwide statistics get put up on what’s called the Raptor League and hopefully we will have other players get their names in for tries this season.
“Greg Bannister is currently joint ninth in try-scorers and he has a running competition with Paul about how many he will score this season.
“Hopefully I can go back up the league table for kickers after missing games because of work at the start of the year.
“But it’s the London One North table that obviously matters the most so we’re delighted to be top of that.”
Ruislip went into Saturday’s game sitting second but the top-of-the-table clash was a rather one-sided affair. Number eight Dave Cosgrove opened the scoring with a try, before Chris Dudman, Jack Hopkins and Ben Jones also went over inside the opening 15 minutes.
Dudman then scored again from deep to make it 33-0 but Ruislip scored right on half-time.
Westcliff were reduced to 14 men when an attempted interception by Bannister was adjudged to have been a deliberate knock on.
But Westcliff ran in eight tries in the second half. Chris Marsh, McKeith, Elliott Harvey, Jack and Oliver Jones all touched down, while Bannister added a hat-trick before Ruislip scored the final try of the game.
Westcliff’s first team manager Rick Compton was thrilled by the display.
“It was an outstanding all round performance and one with which we cannot fail to be both delighted with and proud of,” said Compton.
“Ruislip are not a poor side, they are well established at this level and came here in second place but the lads hit the ground running and didn’t let up.
“The only disappointment was an unfortunate knee injury during an innocuous incident of the floor that looks likely to sideline second row Sam White for some while.”