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Thetford warm up for cup finals with Colchester victory

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:00 11 April 2017

Thetford RFC's Luke Bailey.

Thetford RFC's Luke Bailey.

Archant

Thetford travelled to Colchester for the last game of the season after securing the title the week before.

Thetford approached the game as if it were any other game of the season with the intent of putting on another solid performance leading them into the two cup finals left for the season.

The home team scored first with the forwards running hard lines and pressured the Thetford defence before quick hands put the winger in the corner.

Waiting behind the posts Chris Thomas calmed the stunned men of Thetford down and they responded from the kick off with Mitch Steven tackling the catcher and driving him back.

Thetford’s quick defensive line forced Colchester back into their 22 and forced their scrum half to try a clearance kick. The ball went deep into the Thetford half and was caught by the in-form Ryan Gardiner who stepped his way through the defence and scored his first of three on the day.

Gardiner had a hand in the next try as well in similar fashion but this time selflessly passing the ball to Will Martin to score his 44th of the year.

A stolen line-out by the forwards put Colchester on the back foot and Rob Duchesne found the half gap he needed to break through and score his first. The first half finished 22-5.

The second half was a complete performance from Thetford and the scoreline kept ticking along nicely.

A penalty at a scrum allowed Martin to kick deep into Colchester’s half and from the resulting line out Jasper powered over the line carrying three defenders with him.

The game was topped off by Gardiner who secured his hat-trick with a strong kick return brushing defenders aside to sprint down one wing and bring the score to 53-3.

Thetford’s first XV have now been crowned champions of the Eastern Counties Division One only losing three games.

Thetford’s development side benefited from Swaffam II’s win over Norwich III to be crowned champions of Eastern Counties Four with a game left to play.

The club still has two cups to play for to finish a fantastic season off.


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