Five-star Park shine
PUBLISHED: 15:52 16 October 2010
Bonus-point win in Suffolk
TABLE-TOPPING Romford & Gidea Park made it five wins out of five with a 32-7 success at Ipswich.
Coach Mark Collins saw his men keep their noses in front of Rochford with a bonus-point haul going into the cup break.
But Ipswich were first on the scoreboard, after only seven minutes.
Scrum-half Whanauhou Peita had already gone close, before a knock-on close to the line, but fly-half Gray Gardiner moved infield from a lineout to offload to Mark Broughton, who sent full-back Ryan Potkins bursting under the posts.
Broughton added the simple conversion to leave Park seven points down, but the visitors were soon on the front foot.
After winning a scrum against the head, Ricky Howard, Louis Stevens and Phil Stockton combined as play drifted left, before the referee spotted a forward pass.
No matter, for after being pushed back into their own half, Park came again, with Howard driving off the back of a lineout into Ipswich territory to set up several phases, before the impressive Charlie Wilkinson found space and sent the jet-heeled Stockton in at the left corner.
Stevens converted to level and, after a bulldozing run by Ricky Turner, slotted a penalty to put Park in front.
Jon Mason was penalised soon after for not releasing the ball on the ground, but Broughton put his 40-metre wide.
Lu Sarkus produced some typically bullish runs in the centres, as Park continued to enjoy an edge in possession, before Stevens was dumped over by Gardiner, who was yellow-carded.
John Davies slotted a penalty three minutes before the break to make it 13-7 and Park swarmed forward again from the restart, with Wilkinson and Tom Joslin linking up well, only for Ricky Howard to be well tackled with Stockton awaiting a pass on his outside.
Tempers were beginning to fray and the referee spoke to Micky James and Alex Primmer, before Ipswich were awarded another penalty on the stroke of half-time, which Broughton again pushed wide.
A strong run by the tireless Nick Rush gave the hosts an early lift after the restart, but Park’s defence held firm and, after Ipswich were penalised for pulling down a scrum, the visitors took a quick tap and broke with lightning speed.
Sarkus, Joslin and Stockton sped upfield as Ipswich struggled to get numbers back, before Matt Phillips touched down for an impressive try, which Davies converted to make it 20-7.
Ipswich got a glimpse when Peita, Gardiner and David Pulemagafa broke, but Park turned the ball over again and Davies found a good touch to ease the pressure.
Pulemagafa’s poor pass on the Romford 22 gave the visitors a let-off before Ricky Howard fielded an Ipswich clearance on the left and popped a pass to brother Joe, who spun off a couple of tackles before giving the ball back to Ricky, then kept going to receive a scoring pass close to the line for Park’s third touch down.
Another Davies conversion made it 27-7 with 20 minutes still to play, but Park’s bid for a bonus point looked to be frustrated until the final moments of play.
Ipswich were denied a consolation try on a rare foray into Park territory when Broughton’s pass to Kerian Pack was deemed to be forward, with the line at his mercy.
And Park’s pressure finally told when Mason took a quick tap at the other end and Joslin plunged over for a deserved score.