COLCHESTER Rugby Club continued their remarkable winning run making it six victories from six with a 48-14 win at Westcliff to go 11 points clear at the top of the league, writes EDWARD MARRIAGE.

On a fine, breezy day Colchester never looked like failing to bank yet another bonus point win, despite making a handful of changes to the starting XV.

The Blacks’ opening try had a touch of fortune about it. Corey Button’s punt against the wind from inside the Colchester half somehow ended up over the try-line.

A Westcliff player dived over the ball, leaving the quick-thinking Jonah Varela to nip in.

With Hamish Comonte in the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on, Westcliff enjoyed their best period of the half but they butchered at least three scoring chances through handling errors.


Colchester had their second midway through the half, a characteristic close-range effort by captain James Mitchell after a patient multi-phase build-up, full-back Jayden Boshoff converting.

Westcliff finally got on the board after Colchester conceded a free-kick for an early bind, prop Robert Walker touching down.

The most controversial moment of the match came just before the break.

Sam Butler, making his first start of the season after an appendix operation, went over from a rolling maul.

The referee initially awarded the try but then changed her mind and blew for half-time, with Colchester leading 12-7.


With Dylan Read, Cam Kerr and Callum Jeffery on for Oli and Harrison Pickett and Joe McMillan, the visitors went further ahead as Comonte gathered a wayward clearance kick on Westcliff’s 22 and galloped in for a converted try.

Mitchell secured the bonus point on 50 minutes from a line-out maul and the game was won minutes later.

Jeffery made a storming break from halfway to find Kerr, whose outrageous dummy and step opened his way to the line.

Read saw yellow for a reckless tackle but a rapid break by Yuki Takimura ten metres from his own line and great work by Jacob Bodkin led to a panicked clearance kick which bounced into the hands of Comonte, who grabbed his second.


A deliberate knock-on saw Boschoff in the bin and Westcliff awarded a penalty try but there was no stopping Colchester.

Read touched down after Colchester’s forwards made mincemeat of a Westcliff defensive scrum.

Varela appeared to be shoved off the ball in the act of scoring, but Colchester had the last laugh as Sam Easton dotted down in the corner.

Understandably delighted with the win, Colchester head coach Craig Burrows highlighted the depth of his squad.

He said: “A game like today was an ideal opportunity to have a look at some players in different positions and try and find out our best combinations.


“We’ve still got a couple to exploit but we’re nearly there.”

Burrows paid tribute to the big travelling support which this week included a group of Colchester under-ten who played a fixture against Westcliff before the senior game and formed an enthusiastic guard of honour for the players, before and after the match.

Comonte picked up the player-of-the-match award, sponsored by The Lexden Crown.

Colchester host fourth-placed Bedford Athletic on Saturday (3pm).

The Ravens won their re-arranged friendly at Southend, 29-21.

Colchester: Boshoff, Bodkin, Comonte, Lewis, Varela, Button, Takimura; McMillan, Butler, J Mitchell, Easton, Edison, O Pickett, Whiteman, H Pickett. Reps: Jeffery, Read, Kerr.