BRAINTREE Rugby Club claimed a solid 52-17 victory over visitors Cantabs, in a pre-season friendly.

From the kick-off, Braintree set the tempo, immediately putting their opponents on the back foot.

This final pre-season game was the culmination of the hard work the Braintree senior squad had put in during the off season and signals for a promising season ahead.

The scoreboard began ticking early as Braintree capitalised on their early dominance.

Despite the heat, Braintree’s backline showed flair in attack with Josh Wadforth (2), Keelan Joslin, and John Wilbourne all getting on the scoresheet.

Not to be outdone, the forwards also scored four tries with Jack Brand (2), Harvey Ellis and Freddie Mansfield all crossing the whitewash.

Harvey Ellis (4) and Ryan Honey (2) added the extras, converting six of the eight tries.

Defensively Braintree were very solid and the visitors found it difficult to breach their defensive line, with their attempts to mount a comeback met with solid resistance.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Braintree head coach James Herbert expressed his satisfaction at the team's performance, highlighting the players' hard work, dedication and a true team effort.

He stressed the importance of pre-season matches in building cohesion and praised the whole squad for their commitment and effort, on what was one of the hottest days this year.

He believes this will be a crucial factor in achieving the club's goals for the upcoming season.

Club chairman Nigel Brand was also impressed with the team performance and cited the relaxed, friendly atmosphere around the club on Saturday as a factor in the strong performance.

The club also hosted a family fun day to celebrate the start of the Rugby World Cup, with more than 120 Youth and Mini players, coaches and parents competing in a touch tournament after the first-team match.

Braintree kick off their season on Saturday with a game at Epping Upper Clapton, followed by their first home game of the season on September 23, where they are hoping for a large crowd.