Brentwood 31 Colchester 17 (London & South East Division: North 1) 13th January 2018
James White brace helps Brentwood gain revenge on Colchester
Colchester visited Brentwood on Saturday as one of only two teams to beat the hosts in the league this season. Back in September Brentwood took an early lead but the home side overturned that lead and took the spoils with a strong second half performance, roles reversed this time as Brentwood held off a strong, organised Colchester side to dominate the second period and win comfortably.
An even first 10 minutes saw both sides looking for space and trying to outmuscle each other, the even feel to the match was broken when Josh Woodcock went down with a knee injury and Brentwood tried a speculative kick which was gathered and moved wide by Colchester. Visiting winger James Crozier hit the space out wide and scored a nice try from near the halfway line. Brentwood came back strongly and moved the ball quickly and accurately, a nice break and offload from Tom Simpson to Charlie Wilkinson saw the winger drive deep into the Colchester half. Bradley Burr saw the space behind and collected his own grubber under the posts to score a try that he converted to level the scores. Colchester manged to secure possession from the kick off and drove down the hill close the host’s line. Harrison Pickett scored from the base of a scrum to give Colchester the lead again. Brentwood immediately went on the offensive and some lovely interplay between Burr, Matt Whaley and Jack Richards made 30 metres and from the next phase White sneaked down the blind side to score out wide, Burr converted well to even the score again and mean honours were even at halftime at 14-14.
Brentwood were guilty of moving the ball wide a little too soon in the first half but the right messages were passed on during the break because, with a little more patience and Visser, Bradley and Amato creating space with big carries Brentwood dominated play for the majority of the second half. Colchester crept ahead 14-17 with a penalty from Crozier and handling errors and organised defence kept the score down but when White collected a loose ball from a scrum and scored a converted try in the corner the tide had turned. Brentwood piled on the pressure and the try bonus point was secured when Josh Stannard hit a great line through the defence and put Chay Pollinger in for a deserved try. Burr converted again and he maintained his 100% kicking record soon after with a penalty on 75 minutes. Brentwood saw out the remaining minutes pressing for more scores but the final whistle signalled the end of a tough, physical match and Brentwood evening up the match scores for the season with a 31-17 win.
Brentwood were the better side overall but had to work hard to beat a good team, all the forwards fronted up to the physical battle but George Bassenger impressed when replacing Josh Woodcock early on. Luke Tilly and Paul Bradley made good ground with every touch and caused the defence a lot of problems. The backs played well together again, hitting hard in midfield and breaking quickly and accurately when the opportunity arose. Charlie Chambers looked sharp on his return to squad after a impressing early on in the season.
The Davlav Man of the Match went to Bradley Burr. Ran the game from fly half, scored a great try and perfect with the boot. Brentwood travel to Old Haberdashers next Saturday 20th January.
Brentwood Team: Visser, Richards, Bevans-Royson, Woodcock, Killington, Amato, Whaley, Bradley, White, Burr, Pollinger, Thomas, Stannard, Wilkinson Subs: Tilly, Bassenger, Chambers