Taunton 22, Southend 18

SOUTHEND’S director of rugby Chris Green has called on his side to be more clinical following their 22-18 defeat at Taunton in National Two South on Saturday.

The narrow defeat ended a run of three successive victories.

But Green felt the Seasiders could easily have come out on top if they had taken more of the chances that came their way.

“It was disappointing to lose because again we could and should have won the game,” said Green.

“The positive is that we’ve gone to a team who are unbeaten at home this season and have produced a good performance which should have seen us get a victory.

“But the negative side is that we’ve ended up losing and we’ve had that too many times this season now.

“We had the territory you need to get a better result and it’s something we need to work on. Taunton won because they were more clinical than us and we need to start taking more of the opportunities that are coming our way.”

Southend initially went in front with a penalty from Brad Burr before the hosts hit back with a try from centre Freddie Frazer which went unconverted.

Another penalty from Burr put Southend 6-5 in front at the break but a try from back row Paul Davis which was converted by Gary Kingdom enabled Taunton to retake the lead.

A penalty from full-back Kingdom soon made it 15-6 to the home-side before Southend began to fight-back.

As a result, prop forward Michael Guess soon touched down and Burr added the conversion to cut Taunton’s lead to just two points. But, with 67 minutes on the clock, winger Ashley Harney went over and Kingdom kicked the extras to make it 22-13.

Southend replied 10 minutes later, with Daniel Legge going over but Burr failed to land the conversion and the Seasiders were unable to add any further points as their winning streak came to an end. They will now be bidding to get back on track when second from bottom Bournemouth at Warners Bridge this weekend.

Southend: Billings, Gannon, Nash, Vaughan, Cleare, Burr, Branch, Guess, Bloomberg, Bailey, Legge, Fombo, Ferrier, Kellard, Hudson. Replacements: D Ox, Jackson, Fardell, Crawford & Pierce.