East London scored ten tries on the way to a deserved 12-64 away win over league newcomers Mavericks on Saturday (14 September).
Scrum-half Will Brown led the way with four tries as the visitors dominated their hosts with 47 unanswered second-half points to leave the maroon and blues top of London 3 Essex after day one of the 2019/20 season.
Head coach Eddie Gooby was delighted with his team. He said: “All credit to Mavericks who started well and caused us a few early problems as you would expect from a side that went unbeaten at home last season. Once we got into our stride there was no stopping us.”
Mavericks were quickest out of the blocks with the advantage of playing downhill first on their sloping pitch. A hopeful punt through took a lucky rebound off the upright. The ball was not gathered by the East London defence and Mavericks were ahead with the first try on five minutes. The conversion was added.
The shell-shocked visitors were back in it three minutes later. The East London pack went through the gears and phases to set up fly-half Ryan Billinghurst who sliced through a gap in the pink-shirted defence to score. Full-back Max Stanyard missed the conversion.
Strong defence prevented Mavericks from adding a second try on 12 minutes before East London second row Eoin Kelly had to leave the field injured on 17 minutes to be replaced by Dave Gibson. As they readjusted the home side extended their lead with an unconverted try two minutes later.
From this point on East London began to dominate. Hooker Lewis Bourke should have scored on 22 minutes but was judged to have held on to the ball on the ground. But on 36 minutes after line-out ball was secured, the forwards set up a break from inside centre Ed Brown. The ball was worked to right wing Kevin O’Donoghue who scored in the corner. The conversion was missed.
There was a let off for Mavericks on 38 minutes when flanker Nick Parrott knocked on close to the line but as the interval approached the pack set up Stanyard to score. His conversion meant East London went into the break 17-12 ahead.
Now playing downhill, the second-half was one-way traffic. Parrott carried the ball forward on 42 minutes to create the chance for Will Brown to score the first of his tries. Stanyard converted.
On 51 minutes another surge by the forwards resulted in a try from Gibson which Stanyard converted. Even a yellow card for Ed Brown for a high tackle failed to stop a now rampant East London. Debutant second row Sam Cassidy knocked on close to the line on 59 minutes but Will Brown added his second try on the hour following a scrum on the five-metre line. Stanyard converted.
With scrum-half Brown finding gaps in the deflated Mavericks defence at will, he started the move that saw number eight Dan Bracken bundle over on 64 minutes. Stanyard converted. The full-back almost scored a try on 70 minutes with a break from close to the half-way line, but the run came to nothing.
Will Brown scored his hat-trick try on 75 minutes and Stanyard converted. Debutant outside centre Conor Reilly scored on 78 minutes from a fine pass interception. Stanyard converted from in front of the posts. Fittingly it was left to the impressive Brown to complete the scoring with the final play, having been played in by Bracken. The conversion was missed.
East London can expect a stiffer test next Saturday with a home fixture at the Memorial Ground, West Ham, against coach Gooby’s former club Chelmsford.
East London 1st XV versus Mavericks: 1. Mantas Urbonavicius; 2. Lewis Bourke; 3. Paddy Coman; 4. Sam Cassidy; 5. Eoin Kelly; 6. Nick Parrott; 7. Simon Edscer; 8. Dan Bracken; 9. Will Brown; 10. Ryan Billinghurst; 11. Chukz Chiagorom; 12. Ed Brown; 13. Conor Reilly; 14. Kevin O’Donoghue; 15. Max Stanyard. Replacements: 16. Ben Hogan; 17. Dave Gibson; 18. Frank Murphy.