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Westcliff Rugby Club beaten by Thurrock
Westcliff had been hoping to build on their opening day win over Tring.
But they could not live with their Essex rivals during the second half.
“We thought we had a good chance at half-time, we really thought we could dominate the second half but we were made to look very second best,” said Westcliff's director of rugby Bob Smith.
"We did well in the scrums, won good line out ball but we simply didn't manage the game well enough and Thurrock's tactical kicking was excellent."
Despite the end result, it was Westcliff who opened the scoring when Olly Jones sprinted clear of the defence and touched down for a try which Ben McKeith converted.
Westcliff were soon on top in the pack, turning and breaking the Thurrock eight several times and nearly always pushing them back.
But Thurrock, who won London One North last season, hit back with a penalty and two tries to lead 17-7.
After that, Westcliff's players hurled themselves back into the attack and got the next score with a superb break when Elliott Harvey charged through before giving a scoring pass to Jones who scorched in for his second try.
McKeith converted to get Westcliff within three points of the visitors but another Thurrock penalty soon made it 20-14 in their favour.
In the second half Westcliff were looking for more of the same but found a Thurrock side who had rejuvenated itself.
And, while Westcliff were still impressive up front, the backs found themselves up against it.
Play switched from end to end until a large hole appeared in the Westcliff defence and Thurrock needed no invitation to go through it and score a converted try to make it 27-14.
Westcliff were still fighting but the paid players of Thurrock eased away and scored three more tries.
The home backs soon got going again and Harvey took off through a gap to score halfway out.
McKeith converted with a good kick but it was all too late and Thurrock were worthy winners.