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Cantabs top table after big win at Billericay


Cantabs made a few adjustments to the team for this visit to Billericay; our first for many years. Seb Trower was rested for this one and Fraser Kelsall took over at blindside.

Cantabs elected to kick up the slope and against the wind, and it was not long before our scrummaging power gave Ben James the chance to set Kiwi flyhalf Dwayne a chance to run in the first try only to see it disallowed as he had stepped out of goal in his attempt to make the kick easier! Another chance soon came with a penalty from Simon finding touch, but our lineout was lost and the Essex men cleared to such effect that it was Billericay that threatened to score with a good run from their right winger into our 22. We cleared the danger with another good scrum, but conceded a penalty 30m out to the right of the posts. The kick was true, so against the run of play, Cantabs were behind at 3 - 0.

Cantabs were soon back on the attack, with a great run out of defence by Francois. From the ensuing scrum, Dwayne dummied to pass beat two men and put Finlay away on the right. He was halted but the ruck gave us back possession and it was Finlay who made no mistake scoring to the right of the posts. Simon's kick faded past the near post, but Cantabs were on the board at 3 - 5.

The lead did not last long; Dwayne tackled illegally, the Billericay kicker made no mistake from 35m and the home side were ahead at 6 - 5.

Cantabs started to move the ball about well now, with forwards and backs combining to put Sami away on the left with a run that cut through the defence to bring left winger Harri into play. He was held up just short but Finlay having worked his way right over to the opposite wing was on hand to apply the finishing dive into the corner. Too much for Simon to convert from the touchline against the wind, but Cantabs were ahead again at 6 - 10. Half an hour of the match gone and Billericay supporters had gone quiet.

Cantabs fitness was now starting to tell, the forwards were knocking holes in the Billericay defence and our runners were threatening to score on every attack. Captain Dan Searle picked up from a hack through on his own 10m line and darted through a gap to make 30m, only to knock on. However, by now every scrum was going our way and the Cantabs dominance was only halted temporarily. Ben picked up at No 8, combined with Aaron who timed his pass to perfection, putting Finlay away on the right. He literally danced his way down the touchline, beat two men and scored his third try at ease; 6 - 15.

Cantabs were now well and truly on top. Dwayne sliced his way through the defence, ran diagonally away to the left, found Harri with his pass and our young winger ran around the full back to dot down under the posts. No problem for Simon this time; 6 - 22.

Half time change brought Thom on at hooker for Charlie. The change appeared not to affect the scrum dominance and Cantabs resumed where they left off. The only threat to Cantabs was coming from the Billericay No 8 and Dan was starting to get his measure with a couple of fierce tackles. A line out from 4m following a good kick into the corner was gathered by Fraser who scored at ease wide on the right to increase the lead; 6 - 27.

Virtually from the restart Dwayne kicked over the defence into space, Dwayne followed up gathered the ball and passed to Sami was up into support, he ran into the 22, found Ben James on his right shoulder and it was Ben who scored under the posts. Conversion was made to bring the score to 6 - 34.

The restart failed to cross our 10m line and from a solid scrum, Aaron linked with Dwayne, he scythed through the defence, to link with Francois in support. Easy chance converted by Simon; 6 - 41. By now Billericay were a spent force and Cantabs were scoring at will.

The forwards got the next try, set up by a searing run from Perksy, Rich Ford, on for Dan, in support to set up the ruck and it was Thom Bailey who supplied the "coup de gras" scoring at the posts;

6 - 48. and half an hour to go.

It was forward play again for the next one, ruck after ruck moved play inexorably toward the line and Ryan Bigland dived over under the posts; 6 - 55.

Jonnie Heaver gave way for Charlie to resume, this time at loose head. We won a scrum against the head 10m from the line, Dwayne was on hand to reap the benefit diving over to the right of the posts. Good kick from Simon, with a little more to do on this one made the score 6 - 62.

Yet another scrum deep in the Billericay 22 saw Aaron bring Dwayne into play again, but this time the Kiwi was content to let the scrum half take the ball back and he dived over under the posts; 6 - 69.

Again the restart failed to make 10m; the Cantabs scrum did its job and the Dwayne/Aaron partnership saw Dwayne make the break and Aaron capitalise on the play to again go under the posts; 6 - 76 with ten minutes to go.

Deep in the home side's 22, Ryan looses the ball when attempting to

ground in the corner and Billericay are awarded a scrum on 5m. We take it against the head, Ben to Perks to Ford and Thom Bailey it is scoring his second of the day; 6-83.

Another big charge from Perks with Tom in support broke through yet again. We won the penalty and kicked into the left hand corner. The line out secured the ball, Dwayne ran to the left and then chipped it wide to the left wing, where Francois gathered to score in the corner. The kick for the extra was not successful, but the score had moved on to 6 -88.

Finlay was on hand to benefit from yet more good backs play to land the last score of the match, taking his fourth try and with the conversion from Simon the final tally was 6 - 95.

That made it 213 points scored in our last two matches and with that huge points advantage Cantabs moved above Sudbury to take over at the top of the division. If this rate of scoring continues, I am going to need a secretary just to keep a tally. Man of the match was Dwayne Iese who made break after break. The current level of fitness and teamwork is as good as I have seen in the last 20 years. On this form it will take a very good team to halt the team's progress.

Upminster travel to Sedley Taylor Road next week and will provide somewhat stiffer opposition, so we will see what Cantabs are really made of.

Good wins for both of our junior sides made it a clean sweep for the club and with new players joining each week, we are now getting close to turning out a fourth side. Things appear to be on the up again for the old club!


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