SOUTHEND Saxons staged an impressive second half fightback to secure a 24-24 draw at Harpenden.

Southend fought back from 24-3 down to ensure the London One North clash ended all square.

And Saxons scrum half Harry Branch was delighted with the spirit shown to avoid defeat after such a slow start.

“We struggled to get ourselves into the game during the first half of the match,” said Branch.

“Eventually we managed near the end of the first half to get into their 22 and get a penalty in front of the posts bringing the score to 17-3 at half time.

“But I thought the second half was a brilliant show of determination from all the lads.

“To be 24-3 down and come away with a draw is such a great show of character.”

And Branch was also pleased to play a part in the comeback by scoring one of the Saxons’ three tries.

“To get a draw from a game you could say we were written off in is almost better than a win,” said Branch.

“It was brilliant to get onto the score-sheet again and help us come back into such a high pressure game.

“All the boys smashed it and I’m sure it’ll be carried on through into this weekend.”

Southend remain sixth in the standings but are now just three points behind Colchester, who are fifth, and three points behind fourth placed Harpenden.

However, Branch is only focusing on this Saturday’s clash with Thurrock at Warners Bridge.

“We got a bit of a shock up at their place, we’re all ready to show them what we’re really capable of and come away with the win,” he added.

Stuart Whatling and Connor Smith also scored tries for Southend on Saturday while the rest of the points came from the boot of Jack MacVeigh.

Southend Saxons: MacVeigh, Rawinsky, Smith, Vaughan, Day, Ashton, Branch, Bass, Justice, Reeman, O’Kill, Newton, Forster-Knight, Bevan, Whatling.

Replacements: Campbell-Webster, Buckley & Inwood