London League division one north

COLCHESTER claimed their fourth bonus-point victory against fifth-placed Old Priorians marking a great start to the season and keeping them top of London League division one north.

The match was played in drizzly but calm weather.

Referee Katherine Richie from Hertfordshire kept good control and discipline was maintained by both sides with no cards shown.

Colchester made six changes to their team due to unavailability and injury.

Man-of-the-Match Brock Price came in at number six, his fellow Kiwi Brett Cutbush returned from injury at fly-half, prop Jerone Awesu and hooker Dan Brennan joined newly returned Harry Barton on the bench and Ben Murphy started at inside centre.

The visitors kicked off and before long Colchester had a scrum back on their 22 line.

Scrum-half Matt Wadling picked up the won ball and raced towards the line but was held up.

The Black pack drove OPs back at the next scrum and No 8 Eli Castle pounced on the ball for the first score.

Wing James Crozier converted for an early 7-0 lead.

From the restart OPs pressed forward but could not breach the Black defence.

At one point Price flattened their centre as he tried to break through.

Soon another Colchester attack was thwarted when a defender high-tackled Murphy. Crozier was successful with the kick putting Colchester 10 points ahead.

On the half hour mark Cutbush kicked deep into the visitors' territory.

Their left wing gathered the ball only to be tackled by Price who flicked the ball inside to Castle on the burst.

In the maul that followed, Colchester were awarded a scrum and drove it over the line for Castle to claim his second try.

It was 15-0 and so the score remained until half-time.

Colchester raised their game another notch at the start of the second half and soon turned over the ball at an OPs' scrum.

The ball was moved rapidly to fullback Damien Brambley who scored an unconverted try in the corner.

OPs restarted and Colchester moved the ball up to the halfway line for a lineout.

Hooker Charlie Thorogood linked well with Castle, the ball was moved through the backs to Wadling on the right who sprinted over for the fourth and bonus point score. Crozier converted putting the Blacks 27 points clear.

Coach Lee Soper then brought Thorogood and prop Alex Mitchell off to be replaced by Dan Brennan and Awesu from the bench.

Shortly afterwards Barton went on at fullback, Brambley moved to outside centre and Francois Rossouw took a rest.

Later Dan Brennan threw an accurate lineout ball to skipper Liam Pickett.

Right-wing Dave Brennan took possession and scampered through the defence at an angle, fed Crozier who put Barton over for a fine try on the left bringing the score to 32-0.

With ten minutes left of the game Colchester kept up the momentum and Crozier capped a skilful display by scoring and then converting his own try to make the final score of this fast-moving match 41-0.