HARRY Branch praised Southend Saxons’ character after they triumphed 18-8 at Amersham & Chiltern.

The victory was Southend’s second in succession.

And Branch was thrilled to get the victory.

“It was a hard fought game and we had to dig it out,” said Branch.

“We showed a lot of character and getting back-to-back wins is always very pleasing. It was a perfect way to finish off our block of eight games.”

Southend sit fourth in the London One North standings after losing just one of their first eight games.

And Branch is keen to keep the good run going.

“We have set our standards and goals high for the year and we need to hit runs of performances this year so we have to keep this going,” said Branch.

“Everyone will enjoy the week off and be ready to work hard on our next block when we will be looking to keep the ball rolling.”

Saturday’s game, which was played in tough, wet conditions, was a low scoring affair early on with the Saxons leading 3-0 at the break.

Southend extended their lead with another penalty at the start of the second half before Amersham replied with an unconverted try which cut the visitors’ lead to 6-5. However, Southend reacted well to the setback and raced further clear when Ben Lloyd teed up Chris Vaughan for a try.

Amersham replied with a penalty before Saxons sealed their win late on with Fraser Banks touching down after Tom Ramsey had collected two cross-field kicks.

And Southend’s director of rugby Josh Ward was thrilled with the win.

“I’m absolutely chuffed for the boys, they were outstanding for a lot of the game,” said Ward.

“We played the conditions exceptionally well and put in an incredibly mature shift.

“We took on the challenge in the first 40 going into the wind and managed the game superbly well.

“We put some excellent sets of defending together, resulting in pressure situations for them and us regaining possession.

“In the second half, we took a while to get going which was slightly frustrating but at no point did we look fazed. Lloydy kicked superbly off the tee and our pack gave us a great platform to work from going forwards.”

Southend Saxons: Ramsey, Richards, Wasley, Vaughan, Day, Lloyd, Branch, Smith, Reeman, Armitage, W Cooper, O’Kill, Forster-Knight, Morrsion, Wagstaff. Replacements: Campbell-Webster, C Cooper & Banks.