Table-toppers L&Y forced into changes
LOWESTOFT and Yarmouth are on their travels for a second week running in London League 3 North East to play the re-arranged fixture from December against struggling Mersea Island.
After another fantastic five-pointer against in-form Upminster last Saturday, director of rugby Scott Nelson was looking to field the same team, but injuries and unavailabilities will give the opportunity for a few lads to try and impress.
Front row shows one change with vice-captain Jake Titterington taking over from Richard Bristo, who was exceptional last week but is unavailable.
The second row stays unchanged with Callum Cashman awarded the man-of-the-match against Upminster for a masterclass in carrying the ball.
The back row shows two changes with Steve Powles sidelined with for his red card last week and Steve Adams moving back to his old position of inside centre. It gives the opportunity for Ryan Oakes and Jan Scheijde to impress.
In the backs Josh Fewkes will be rested after collecting a hamstring injury and Kristen Taylor Crisp will move to the bench.
Tom Dare is also away this weekend so the bench sees Carl Lewis and Simon Coleman get the nod after impressing for the second XV.
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Nelson said “It’s probably the most changes we have made all season but the feeling in camp is great at the moment and all the lads involved have played a big part in the season so far, and I expect us to come away with another maximum pointer this weekend”
Squad: Titterington, Howe, Newton, Wilkinson, Cashman, Oakes, Scheijde, Thomas, Chapman, Nelson, Adams, McAlone, Boardley, Palmer, Sutherland, Taylor Krisp, Lewis, Coleman.
Upminster 27, Lowestoft & Yarmouth 56
L&Y are five points clear at the top of London Division 3NE after a thrilling victory in horrible windy conditions in Essex.
Unexpectedly, the game turned out to be a 12-try feast of entertainment.
As proof of the brand of rugby L&Y are developing, their eight tries were scored by eight different players, from the front row to full-back.
L&Y played with the wind and slope to start, and soon got on the scoresheet after a charged clearance set up position for them to lay seige on the goalline.
Man of the match Callum Cashman was held up over the line, but from a resulting penalty Scott Nelson, Marc Thomas and Russ Wilkinson laid the groundwork for Josh Fewkes to be driven over by the posts.
Russ Chapman converted easily then fired over a huge penalty from halfway to extend the lead to 10-0.
Upminster hit back with an unconverted 60m interception try before Chapman struck a second penalty.
The next try was the best of the first half when first-phase scrum ball went left.Nelson and Chapman worked a hole for Myles McAlone to race through.
He then found Brad Sutherland tearing up from full-back to carry two defenders over the line.
Jamie Pavitt pulled a penalty back for Upminster before Howe bustled through and Chapman took L&Y to a 17-point cushion.
Playing uphill into the strong wind second half, the back three of Sutherland, Dave Palmer and Kristan Taylor Crisp coped well with some raking kicks from Pavitt.
Then some excellent midfield pressure defence forced a mistake in the centres which bounced kindly for McAlone to race 50m to the posts and L&Y’s bonus point.
L&Y scored a fifth try after Thomas and Chapman set Palmer waltzing down the right wing.
When he was stopped, Steve Adams and Howe took the ball left before quick ruck ball allowed Nelson to send Thomas trotting over.
Upminster responded with two more tries and the last 15 minutes was a feast of running rugby for spectators.
A try from Adams was answered with a bonus try for the hosts before Palmer and Ryan Oakes touched down to complete the scoring.