Park prove too strong for Southend ahead of the big kick off
Rosslyn Park rarely had to extend themselves to beat a game, but limited, Southend side and ran out 48-8 winners in their final match ahead of the new season curtain raiser at Cinderford this weekend.
Park started brightly enough, soon having Southend on the back foot inside their own 22.
Awarded a penalty, fly half Scott Sneddon put the points on the board for 3-0. However almost from the restart Park conceded a penalty that allowed their hosts to equalise.
Back on the attack, Park always looked dangerous and after a brief period of pressure there was nothing the home defence could do to stop Ben Lonergan crashing over, Sneddon adding the extras.
Southend rarely troubled the Park defence, but were themselves the masters of disruption and Park looked to have difficulty in establishing a rhythm of their own for all their being clearly the better side.
Sam Sneddon attempted a penalty to stretch the lead but suffered a radar malfunction.
Bang: Henry Staff prepares for the tackle
When a Southend player incurred a serious injury after 40 minutes, Park readily agreed with the referee to call it half-time despite the fact that he was playing a penalty advantage in their favour.
Park made wholesale personnel changes shortly after the re-start, and immediately looked a more cohesive combination. Winning a lineout close to the Southend line, they crashed over en masse, the consensus being that it was Harry Broadbent who actually touched down, though other claims may be valid. The conversion attempt was missed.
Southend gained some encouragement with an immediate riposte in the shape of a move up the left for a good try, but one that Park will be disappointed to have conceded. That brought the scores to 15-8.
The gulf between the two sides looked far greater than seven points and Park soon set about proving the fact. Southend were not helped by a yellow card as they resorted to extra-legal means to keep out the visitors.
A line out on the left saw the ball whipped across the field for Dom Shabbo to coast in on the right, Sam Katz converting for 22-8.
Breakaway: Sam Katz goes for the line
Back on the attack, Park forced a scrum which led to a quick tap penalty and centre Will Simpson darted over, Katz adding the extras for 29-8.
A good attack up the left saw several attempts to breach the line until it was switched across for Shabbo to cross the line on the far side and run round behind the posts to give Katz the easiest of conversions for 36-8.
Park were now scoring at will, and sound support running from lock Richard Boyle reaped its reward when he crashed over, Katz again converting. The pack had the last word, driving over for Sam Shires to claim the try for the final score of 46-8.
Watch out: Charles Broughton about to turn defence into attack
Boom: Scott Sneddon kicks Park into the lead
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