Rochford 39, Braintree 8

ROCHFORD Hundred saw off Braintree 39-8, but still felt they should have won by more.

Third-placed Rochford have now triumphed in 11 of their last 12 games.

But their first team manager Graham Pratt was still not completely satisfied.

“A combination of typical tenacious play by the visitors and some basic errors by us produced a sloppy game,” said Pratt.

“There was plenty of terrific attacking rugby but poor execution and aggressive defence by Braintree spoilt it as a spectacle for the large crowd.”

Despite that, the game started brightly enough for Rochford when Tom Ashton sped over for a converted try and, shortly after that, winger Sam Edwards also touched down.

The home team kept applying pressure and Ashton added a further six points through penalty kicks before impressive winger Tom Pickering drove over for another try.

Ashton added the extras and made the score 25-0 at half-time.

Rochford now looked on the way to a big score but the second half was a much closer and harder fought affair as Braintree forced the pace and were rewarded with three points from a penalty kick.


Mike Stemp leads a Rochford attack

However, Rochford reacted well and some good attacking play drove the home side to the Braintree line and from a strong scrummage number eight Scott Horsburgh picked up and powered over for a fine individual try which was converted by Ashton.

After that, the remainder of the game was a case of both sides cancelling each other out.

The visitors clawed back five points with a try in the corner but Rochford had the last say when they were awarded a penalty try after some sustained forward pressure.

That made it 144 points for Rochford in their last three games but they remain in third, seven points behind second placed Ipswich with just two games of the season to go.

Rochford Hundred: Mark, Levy, Wiseman, Tape, Whight, Knowles, Spencer, Horsburgh, Baker, Ashton, Edwards, Stemp, Stewart, Pickering, Needham. Replacements: Irvine, Dolman & Bavington.


Matthew Stewart

* SOUTH Woodham Ferrers were beaten 41-5 by table topping Saffron Walden and remain fifth in the London Two North East table.