London One North
Luton 36 Basildon 20
Luton Rugby secured back-to-back bonus-point London One North victories after overturning an half time deficit to beat Basildon, writes Stephen Richards.
A below par first period performance left Luton trailing 10-8 at the break, although Steven Ellis did open the scoring for Luton, after collecting the ball from a kick upfield by Will Affleck to go over. Rik Hobbs missed the conversion however to leave the score at 5-0.
Basildon replied on 22 minutes with a try from Bradley Johnson with Zac Jones also wayward with his kick.
Although a Hobbs penalty instantly put Luton back in front, Ryan Creasey’s try two minutes before the interval sent Basildon 10-8 into lead, but the travellers again missed the conversion, this time through Dan Rowley.
The first action of the second-half saw Jack Elston sent off on 50 minutes for what was deemed a reckless use of the boot whilst clearing a ruck, leaving Luton down to 14 men.
But two points behind and a man down, Luton battled back impressively.
Just two minutes later, Tesh Edwards finished off an attack down the right hand side by pouncing on a loose ball and diving over the line. Hobbs converted to give Luton a 15-10 lead.
Aiden Kenny then bagged a try on 56 minutes after a good run and kick forward by Ellis; Hobbs again converting for 22-10.
Edwards was next to go over again on 61 minutes with Tom Wilmore and Hobbs instrumental in the move as a dominant 10-minute spell saw Luton 19 points to the good.
Lee Randall’s try for Basildon 10 minutes from time gave them hope of earning a bonus point but Jones missed the conversion.
Kenny added his second score and his team’s fifth, two minutes from time with Hobbs converting to round off the home team’s scoring, as Basildon also crossed through Joseph Green to score a late conversion.
Luton travel to Chingford this weekend.
Luton: Pacey, Murphy, Blinkhorn, Elston (c), Rodell, Kay, Harris, Yang, Mahendran, Wilmore, Edwards, Ellis, Kenny, Hobbs, Affleck. Subs: Thomas, Scales, Butten.
T: Ellis, Edwards (2), Kenny (2). P: Hobbs. C: Hobbs (4).