A SPIRITED late comeback was not enough to prevent Colchester from losing 36-12 at London One North champions-elect Rochford, writes STEVE WHITEMAN.

The Blacks were beaten by six tries to two against a side have gained maximum points so far this season.

They have done so due to their professional and clinical approach, often using well-rehearsed moves to gain the upper hand over their opponents.

Try as they may Colchester were under the cosh for most of the match.

Right from their kick-off, Rochford attacked the Blacks and soon fullback Damien Brambley picked up a yellow card for deliberately knocking the ball on to avoid them successfully finishing the move.

The Rochford fly-half kicked to touch in the corner and from the ensuing lineout the hosts' pack drove over the line for a converted try.

After that there followed 20 minutes of intense rugby on the heavy sloping pitch.

Despite having the presence of all three Pickett brothers in their pack, Colchester had to work hard to contain the heavier Rochford forwards both in the tight and the loose play.

Rochford's backs also took some containing as they appeared to have a large selection of set moves with which to test the Blacks defence.

Eventually Rochford were awarded a dubious penalty from a scrum on Colchester's 22 and in a copycat version of their first try, kicked to the corner, won their lineout and drove over for an unconverted try.

From the restart, the hosts came back upfield and a grubber kick through the Blacks defence was pounced upon by their outside centre for the final score of the first half.

Turning round 17 points adrift and having to now play up the slope made the situation look grim for Colchester, especially early on when fly-half David Higgins was yellow-carded followed shortly by Ollie Pickett.

Playing against 13 men, Rochford made use of the numerical superiority to score during their absence.

And despite losing a player of their own to a yellow card, they then scored again from a driven over scrum to increase their score to 29-0.

Later back to a full complement, the Blacks were awarded a free-kick for Rochford pushing too early in a scrum.

Scrum-half Matt Wadling's tap and go started a good backs' move that whipped the ball out for lock and man-of-the-match Alex Burman to score a fine converted try.

Getting points on the board lifted Colchester and soon inside centre Brock Price bludgeoned his way through and advanced into Rochford's half but lack of support led to the ball being lost.

Later, following their well-rehearsed catch and drive from a lineout, Rochford moved their ball infield to their centre who went over under the posts.

The extras were added, making the score 36-7.

Prop Jerone Awesu came off the bench and before long using his strength in attack.

He skittled two defenders and offloaded to fellow substitute Harry Barton who raced upfield to put outside centre Tom Dufficy over for a great try.

Higgins missed the conversion so the final score was 36-12 to the league leaders, with Colchester remaining in second place.