Three sides on duty for Cantabs again, but the loss of eight front row players to injury meant some frantic shuffling of manpower for this game against the heavyweight pack of promoted Clacton. Cyril Journoux answered the call for front row cover, fresh from his MBA and the evergreen Jonny Heaver showing his versatility by moving to loose head. New man Ryan Bigland was moved from No 8 to second row alongside Shed. New Zealander Dwayne Iese was in at flyhalf and with Simon and Sami alongside him, giving Cantabs some real fire power in the backs. Fraser Kelsall was also back in the squad after a season out following a serious ankle injury.
Clacton kicked off towards the railway in near perfect rugby conditions. The first scrum saw Cantabs pushing the Seasiders back easily; and it was no different on their put in, with the ball worked out to the backs and through to Harri on the left wing. A step, a hesitation and an accelerating Harri skirted round the defence to score in the corner. No luck with the conversion, but two minutes gone and we were away at 5 - 0.
The Cantabs scrum was holding up well under pressure and our line out was working much better this week. It was a penalty kick from Simon to the corner that brought the next score. The lineout was gathered, the maul formed and Perksy pealed away at the back to go over the line from 10m out virtually unopposed. The kick was missed, but we were away at 10 - 0.
Clacton then pushed us back into our own 22 with some good forward play, but a kick through was gathered by Sami, who showed his pace by running the length of the pitch to score under the posts. No mistake from Simon and the score now 17 - 0.
From the restart Francois showed his pace on the right wing beating five men and running the ball well into the opposition half. Dwayne moved the ball left, to Sami, onto Harri who danced down the left passing inside to Aaron to avoid the touch line. He gathered moved the ball back passed inside to Harri who scored in the corner to give Cantabs the bonus point at 22 - 0 after fourteen minutes.
Clacton showed their mettle with a series of scrums in and around the Cantabs 22. Clacton won a penalty on our 22, took a quick tap and Dan could not resist the tackle and was given a ten minute break for his exuberance. Cantabs were not phased by this, again Francois broke clear on the right wing, found his way into the Clacton 22, where a supporting Aaron on his left shoulder ran in at pace to touch down under the posts. Conversion chip by Simon; 29 - 0.
Dwayne made the break for the next try, passed to Sami who steamed through the centre finding Irish James in support - another try under the posts; 36 - 0.
Irish gathered the ball, big pass inside to Dwayne, who beat his man with a couple of trademark sidesteps and made 30m before passing out to Simon, who made no mistake for try number seven in the corner. Great conversion by Simon from the touchline; 43 - 0.
Dan was back on now. Next try soon followed; Sami back to his awesome best, yet again made the break, and Dwayne was in support on his right to race in under the posts. Simon rounded off the score nicely to 50 - 0 at half time.
Francois took a break allowing Finlay a run on the right wing. But it was Dwayne who made the next decisive break scything past a couple of defenders, found Sami in support on his left who beat his man and raced through into the 22, Aaron was on his shoulder for the pass, and forced his way over the line ignoring the two men to his right. Easy conversion again for Simon, and the onslaught continued at 57 - 0 just two minutes into the half.
Dwayne again made the break through the defence for the next try, looped a pass over to Aaron in support, in under the posts; 64 - 0.
Ryan Bigland made the next try with a great break, found Sami on the left and our Fijian scored in the corner. Lovely kick from Simon got the extra points, now up to 71 - 0.
Harri scored the next, following a scrum inside the Clacton 22, he was in support to take the pass from Aaron to score under the posts; 78 - 0. Fraser was now on for Sami. Every restart seemed to be caught by Charlie, who thundered forward to set up the next ruck, and bring the backs into play.
Next backs move allowed Harri enough space to open his legs on the left wing. He ignored all calls for a pass and bullied his way over the line for try number 13,touching down close to the posts; 85 - 0.
The Dwayne sidestep again set up the next try, Finlay gathered his pass at speed, found Aaron in support, who again scored under the posts; 92 - 0.
Finlay was now showing his speed, as he ran the ball out from under his posts. Clacton just could not handle the Cantabs pace in the backs. Cyril finally joined the fray for the last 15 minutes, Perksy taking a well earned break, Charlie moving to prop.
It was Finlay who scored the next racing into the corner. Simon at last missed the kick, rapping the post from the touchline; 97 - 0.
Dwayne again with the break set up the ever-supporting Aaron on his shoulder, under the posts yet again; 104 - 0.
Beautifully timed pass from Dwayne set Finlay away on the left, he galloped home unopposed close to the posts; 111 - 0.
Again Finlay was the beneficiary for try number eighteen, ignoring Irish on his right to claim his hat trick. No problem for Simon, his fourteenth conversion, confirming the maths and the score at a record breaking 118 - 0. Final whistle.
Breath-taking stuff from the Cantabs backs who had left it to the forwards every other week. Congratulations to Clacton for fighting right to the end despite the one-sided nature of the game. Cantabs now joint top of the division with Sudbury and Billericay await us next week.