From the kick off Thames made light work of the Southend back line as Kyle Munro broke one tackle passed to Liam Smith who broke a second and passed onto Mark O'Connell who was unstoppable and crashed over the line to open the scoring after just 50 seconds. Lee Cairns added the extra points.
Southend scored next, from an awarded penalty and they kicked the ball through the uprights. With a good break down from the restart down Thames flanks Southend were stopped just short of the try line and awarded a penalty. Despite an injured player on the floor the penalty was tapped quickly ahead of the mark and Southend crashed over for a converted try. Rallied by the shock score Thames got themselves back close to the Southend try line and was awarded a penalty. Thames first attacked in field but quickly switched the ball out wide were O'Connell outpaced the cover tackle to score.
The next try came from Southend as they broke quickly and Thames didn't react quickly enough. As Thames scrambled back to defend Smith impeded play and despite no previous warning a penalty try was awarded and Smith was given 10 minutes from the field of play. With a man down Southend found the space and ran in a very good try under the posts. Southend gained a third try just before half time when from a penalty they cavalry charged the try line. As half time came Southend were leading 24 to 12.
The second half started as the first had begun for Thames with a try. Penalty awarded to Thames, Smith now back of the pitch he was driven over the line for an opening try. Only minutes later Thames was once again reduced to 14 men when Morgan Podmore stopped a Southend player and was deemed not to have controlled of his tackle. Again Southend made the most of the extra man and just before the 10 minute sin bin was up they crossed the line from another awarded penalty.
Restored back to a full 15 Thames were moving the ball well but a few last minute forced passes let them down until Kyle Munro got on the end of one move. Munro stepped and forced his way through the Southend defence. As before in the game Southend struck back. This time with a try worked well of their own making as they crossed the line for a fifth converted try.
With 15 minutes of play to go Thames kept battling and kept pressure on the Southend touch line. A well worked moved saw them pull the Southend defence out wide, then from a ruck they powered over the try line only to be denied and handed a penalty in their favour. From the penalty they attacked again and were awarded another penalty just as they were inches from the line. The ball was tapped quickly and Thames crashed over but only to be denied again being told to retake the penalty again and then having to wait for an injured player to be seen too. From the penalty Thames once again went through the forwards and clearly crossing the line with a Thames player laying on the ball the cries for held up were accepted and for a 3rd time the try was denied.
Thames despite being shocked that none of the previous tries had been given they still had territory advantage and this time with Matt Vallis crashing through the try was finally given. Time was important to Thames and they wasted no time in getting back down to the Southend half with a fast darting run from Rhys Dell who looked certain to score only to be taken out with a charge that was devoid of any arms or any attempt to make a legal tackle. From the Penalty Thames worked a line straight to the posts with Podmore touching down. Cairns quickly dropped goal and Thames headed back for the restart but the final whistle was blown and Thames lost their first game since reforming, 38 -36.
Thames was definitely frustrated and disappointed with how the game finished but they live to fight another day and one game doesn't define their season and re-entry into the leagues. Thames man of the match was awarded to Kyle Munro for his sheer work rate and committed play.