SOUTHEND Saxons completed their London One North season with a 28-20 defeat at Colchester.

The setback meant Saxons finished fifth in the standings.

And director of rugby Josh Ward praised the continued effort of his players.

“The boys have been phenomenal but they’ve come up against a good physical side in Colchester,” said Ward.

“We played half the game with 14 men too and to battle the way we did we’re incredibly proud.

“We were slightly inaccurate in the first half but when we had opportunities we put them away pretty well.

“It was fine margins in the end but this is a very, very tight group and we’re on a journey.

“We’ve won some this season and we’ve lost some too but the most important thing is we’ve improved.

“We’ll have a good break now and we’ll be back.”