COLCHESTER Rugby Club's perfect start to the season continued with an eight-try mauling of local rivals Sudbury, writes EDWARD MARRIAGE.

The Blacks' 52-12 win took them top of Regional 1 South East as the league’s only unbeaten team.

Dominant up front, virtually unstoppable in the maul and resolute in defence, Colchester were in control throughout - no wonder head coach Craig Burrows was “over the moon”.

For the second time this season, Francois Rossouw completed a hat-trick to give him seven tries from three matches.


“They’re not individual tries – it’s the whole forward pack,” was the centre-turned-hooker’s modest assessment.

“Most of it is from forward set play. Hit the ball up, maul, score, every time,” said Rossouw.

Sounds simple, but why change a winning formula?

With Sam Easton on his 50th appearance leading the team out Colchester started brightly, 14-0 up inside 12 minutes with Rossouw getting the final touches on both occasions as the maul rumbled over. Jayden Boshoff added the extras.

Sudbury, top of the league at kick-off after two bonus point wins, looked threatening when freeing their dangerous backs and duly got on the board through Sam Bixby’s try.


But Colchester regained control with a backs move off the training ground, Jimmy Mpailane skillfully picking up the ball to find the increasingly-impressive Hamish Comonte who stormed between the posts.

With Joe McMillan on for Alex Mitchell, the bonus point was secured inside the half hour, a cute chip over the Sudbury defence by Boshoff was collected by Mpailane who found Rossouw for his hat-trick.

There was time for Fraser Beckett to cross for a converted try before half-time to make it 26-12, but that was the end of Sudbury’s scoring.


Colchester had the game won with two quick-fire converted tries early in the second half. First Danny Whiteman’s break was taken on by James Mitchell who found Corey Button for the touchdown, then an astute interception gave Dylan Read a free run to the line.

The self-styled “bomb squad” – otherwise known as Pickett brothers Oli and Harrison – arrived to boost an already-dominant pack, though Harrison later saw yellow as he played the ball from a Sudbury penalty when not 10 metres back.

A kick to the Sudbury line and quick thinking by Jacob Bodkin forced a penalty five metres out. With the visitors also reduced to 14 Whiteman ran through the traffic to the try line.

Mpailane, dangerous as ever with ball in hand, collected a punt up field to score the eighth try, Boschoff kicking his sixth conversion.

“It all came together nicely for us,” said Burrows. “We stuck to out structure, we stuck to our game plan and it showed. Everyone can attack in rugby but defence is a hard thing.”

Rossouw won player-of-the-match from sponsors Hills Building Services while Boshoff took the coach’s award, sponsored by The Lexden Crown.

Colchester sit four points clear at the top of the league and next up is a visit to newly-promoted Letchworth on Saturday.

The Ravens started their Counties 2 league season with a bang, beating Crusaders 87-5 while Colchester thirds won 60-13 at Hadleigh but the fourths lost heavily to Halstead.

Colchester: Mpailane, Bodkin, Comonte, Lewis, O’Reilly, Boshoff, Button; A Mitchell, Rossouw, J Mitchell ©, Easton, Edison, Kerr, Whiteman. Reps: McMillan, O Pickett, H Pickett.