SOUTHEND Saxons started the London One North season with a 27-15 defeat against Colchester at Warners Bridge.

Colchester are expected to be among the favourites for promotion this season.

And Saxons’ director of rugby Josh Ward was pleased with how his side matched their Essex rivals for long spells on the opening day of the campaign.

“We’re a bit disappointed with the outcome naturally because we want to win but in terms of the performance it was right up there,” said Ward.

The boys put their bodies on the line throughout which we knew we would have to do against a big, physical side.

“It gives us a really good platform to build on going into next week against Thurrock.

“I couldn’t have asked for any more from the boys and I’m incredibly proud of that.”

Rory Inwood and Alfie Justice both scored tries for Southend who also handed youngster James Ramsey his first team debut off the bench.

“It was a good game and all the boys did their best,” said Ramsey.

“I loved being out there and the boys made it good for me.

“Hopefully I can carry on in the next game now.”