Depleted Luton are no match for league leaders Rochford

Tom Winch in action for Luton - pic: Ian Nancollas Photography
Tom Winch in action for Luton - pic: Ian Nancollas Photography

A depleted Luton produced a sterling effort, but couldn’t stop London One North table-toppers Rochford Hundred from running away with a 101-5 victory at Newlands Road on Saturday.

During the warm-up, prop Dwayne Duffy suffered an injury and was replaced by Ryan Sheppard, leaving Luton with two substitutes before the kick-off.

Unluckily, Shane Thomas and Steve Allen were needed not long after the game started, Alex Hill and Callum Strachan both forced off.

The hosts’ defence was constantly under pressure and even though they gave their all, trailed 41-0 at the break.

They were then in an even more difficult situation when Karl Rodell was injured, and as Luton had no other substitutes, had to continue the game with 14 players.

The hosts kept their heads up and put in even more effort to stop the visitors, deservedly got on the scoreboard during the closing stages, with a try from Tom Winch.

First team manager Steve Evans highlighted the team’s tremendous effort despite their injury problems, saying: “Losing Duffy in the warm-up was a bit of a nightmare, as 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, and the ones who went off, put their bodies on the lines to try and get something out of this game.

“We need to do a full injury assessment first 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.”

The coaching staff and man of the match Martin O’Grady were happy with Luton’s cohesion as a team and their spirit and hope that they can keep it for the upcoming games.

Luton travel to the Old Haberdashers on Saturday, who are currently sixth in the league.