Colchester Rugby Club’s second-half performance against Harlow was the best of the season so far according to first-team coach Tim Grimsey.
Having taken a 12-5 advantage into half-time with the wind at their backs, Colchester turned up the heat on their opponents from the west of the county and ran in four tries.
Grimsey said: “That was the best second half we have played this season and we did it into the wind.
“With the wind in the first half, we were lucky.
“I’m not joking as we were 12-0 up and playing alright, but our decision-making was still not spot on.
“At the breakdown we were slow and their scrum-half, Lee Heron, was the best player on the pitch.
“He made everything work for them and put James Gee under a lot of pressure.
“We went 12-0 up, but he (Heron) started to run the show and we were giving penalties away left, right and centre.
“Our discipline needs to be better at the breakdown.”
Grimsey said his players were getting penalised at certain breakdown situations for not releasing the ball because he felt referees were not applying new rules in the same way that players were being coached to get used to.
He said: “We are coaching what should happen and the boys are following it, but the referees are not following it.
“I have no issues with the referees whatsoever, but I’m just not convinced that they are managing it properly.
“Lee Heron was making loads of ground and getting lots of leverage from these penalties.
“They made it to 12-5 and were in the game, but we scored just before half-time to make it 19-5 which was a great time to score just on the whistle.
“We then ran in four tries in the second half which was the best we have played this year.
“Alex Ashburner, Damien Brambley and Jack Wiggins all did really well and Pete Smith was man-of-the-match.
“The wind did drop in the second half, but we had a half-time chat and in no uncertain terms they were told that the first-half performance was not good enough.
“We can’t go to Romford on Saturday and play like we did then. Everyone made valuable contributions, but there are still people playing below the 100 per cent that we require.
“We have to take the game to the next level.
“I would be reasonably pleased if we played like we did in the second half, but we have to do it for the whole 80 minutes.”