London 1 North: Luton 5-101 Rochford Hundred
By Ian Nancollas
Injured laden Luton could not stop table- leaders Rochford, despite the team’s heroic efforts at Newlands Road
During the warm-up, prob Dwayne Duffy suffered an injury and was replaced by Ryan Sheppard, leaving Luton with two substitutes even before the kickoff.
Unluckily, Thomas and Allen were needed soon after the game started, as Alex Hill and Callum Strachan had to leave the pitch due to injuries.
LRFC’s defence was constantly under pressure and even though they gave their blood to it, they left for the break with 0-41 on the scoreboard.
The home side was put into an extremely difficult situation when Karl Rodell got hurt, and as Luton had no other substitutes, they had to continue the game with 14 players.
They kept their heads up and put even more effort to stop the visitors and only minutes before the final whistle their persistence paid off and they got on the scoreboard with a try from Tom Winch.
First team manager Steve Evans felt it was a tough game but highlighted the team’s tremendous effort despite their lack of luck with injuries.
He said: “Losing Duffy in the warm-up was a bit of a nightmare, we didn’t have time to find a replacement as it was two minutes before kick-off. Then losing another two players, therefore losing our bench, within seven minutes was catastrophic.
“But without a doubt there were positives. I think it’s safe to say that every single player who stayed on that pitch or the ones who went off put their bodies on the lines to try and get something out of this game.
“First we need to do a full injury assessment and see where we are because throughout this game we sustained even more injuries.
“What we are aiming to do as a management team, is to focus on the matches that we know we can win, making sure we have the right availability and the right bodies on the pitch.”
Luton have to assess these issues fast as they are travelling to the Old Haberdashers on Saturday, who are currently in 6th position in the league.
(The Hundreds’ tries were scored by Hurley (2), Ikhifa, Adam Ferrier, Billings, Radzevious, Hudson (3), Johnson, William Ferrier, Whatling, Shields (2), Sowter and Meads (2), with eight conversions from Stewart.)