BRAINTREE RUGBY UNION FOOTBALL CLUB 2019/20 SEASON.
Any copy queries to BRUFC Publicity Officer John Troup on 07860-179347.
BRAINTREE…83 BARKING…5 (London 3 Essex)
RAMPANT Braintree began 2020 with a bang as they destroyed once mighty Barking with a 13-try blitz at Robbs Wood on Saturday.
The landslide victory moved the black and ambers up into fourth place and hot on the heels of the London 3 Essex promotion hopefuls.
On a crisp, sunny afternoon it took just five minutes for Tree to score after some excellent inter passing saw flanker Will Humphreys go over the line, winger Elliott Swallow converting for a 7-0 lead.
Five minutes later Barking kicked deep only for Swallow to collect before weaving his way through the opposition defence to score. 12-0.
On 22 minutes Tree missed touch from a penalty but Barking knocked on and from the resulting scrum the home side went wide for Swallow to score his second. 17-0.
Three minutes later Barking knocked on again on the halfway line, enabling stand-off Dan Olley to kick forward and snatch the ball from a defender before crashing over, with Swallow converting. 24-0.
On 29 minutes Tree took a quick tap-penalty that resulted in outside centre Josh Levy crashing through for a try that was again converted by Swallow. 31-0.
Eight minutes later wing James Abbott collected a loose ball and beat two defenders to score try number six, Swallow’s conversion making it 38-0 to the hosts.
Barking’s misery continued just before half time when Tree kicked to the corner from a penalty.
Hooker Mike Benfield took advantage of the catch and drive move from the line-out and crashed over to secure a 43-0 half-time lead.
Things didn’t improve for the visitors after the break when Barking knocked on almost straight from the re-start.
Tree won the scrum and Tyler Worster broke away before feeding Charlie Marsden, who put fellow flanker Humphreys in for his second of the game, Swallow converting. 50-0.
On 45 minutes Humphreys completed his hat-trick, only for Cam Kerr to add try number nine three minutes later following great work from second row Matt Pickles, Swallow converting both scores to stretch Tree’s lead to 64-0.
To their credit Barking never gave up and after a spell of keeping the ball tight to their forwards they eventually scored a try of their own on 65 minutes. 64-5.
On 70 minutes despite further pressure from the visitors Tree made a break from their own five-metre line.
Abbott found Swallow who romped through to complete the second hat-trick of the game and convert the score himself. 71-5.
With the clock running down Barking kicked wide, but Abbott collected and sliced his way through the defence to score his second of the game, man of the match Swallow converting for 78-5 and bringing his personal points tally to 33..
Ruthless Tree still weren’t done, collecting the ball cleanly from the re-start and launching an attack that saw Marsden score their 13th and final try. 83-5.
BRUFC Head Coach Jamie Clarke said: “It was a clinical display by our boys, albeit against a side which is clearly struggling this season.
“But to score 83 points against anyone is obviously a very good result and continues a good start to the year.
“With players returning from injury we’re now looking as strong as we have all season.
“We now need to continue this form so we can try to get back up towards the top places in the league.”
Tree will have the chance to fill their boots with tries and points again on Saturday when they entertain bottom club Basildon in London 3 Essex this weekend.
Clarke will ensure they won’t show any signs of complacency, but the game represents a great opportunity to claw back some ground on the top three.
BRUFC: Whyatt, Swallow, Levy, Dann, Abbott, Olley, Worster, Hardin, M Benfield, C Fairchild, M Pickles, Mlambo, C Marsden, Humphreys, C Kerr. Reps: T Colebrook, W Turner, Doughty.