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Ipswich lose out to Thurrock

PUBLISHED: 12:58 30 January 2002 | UPDATED: 15:24 03 March 2010

RUGBY UNION: Ipswich 8 Thurrock 14. On a wind-swept, muddy pitch Thurrock managed to handle the conditions more effectively than the home side. They remained patient, bided their time and eventually ran out worthy winners.

Ipswich 8 Thurrock 14

ON a wind-swept, muddy pitch Thurrock managed to handle the conditions more effectively than the home side. They remained patient, bided their time and eventually ran out worthy winners.

Ipswich should have done better. They dominated in the scrum and Briggenshaw reigned supreme in the line-out, taking four or five Thurrock throws and providing a glut of ball for the threequarters.

On a better day the Ipswich backs would have had a field day, but the conditions made it almost impossible to make much ground when running with the ball. Hughes and his centre partner Hinds played well, but Ipswich's decision-making was poor and, on a day better suited to flying kites, Ipswich tried to move the ball wide with long passes when the better option had to be to keep it short and simple.

This is exactly what Thurrock did, relying on their forwards to edge themselves into attacking positions. They then played a patient game, applying pressure and waiting for Ipswich to make mistakes.

Ipswich managed a penalty early on, and scored an opportunist try when the ball was dropped, and Hughes fly-hacked the ball through to win the race and touch down near the posts. The conversion was missed and the score remained 8-0.

Playing with the wind, it did not feel as if they had scored enough and so it proved. Thurrock's fly-half slotted three big penalties to put his side into the lead and despite the fact that Ipswich had the lion's share of the possession, they just could not find a breakthrough.

In the last minute of the game, Van Heerden fielded a hopeful kick through, hesitated on the ball and then under pressure got turned over. Thurrock kicked through and scored in the corner, putting the final nail in the coffin.


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