COLCHESTER Rugby Club bounced back from their disappointing defeat at Brentwood with a comprehensive dismantling of a spirited but under-powered Old Priorians in London One North, writes EDWARD MARRIAGE.

Wing Sean Bundy scored four of Colchester’s eight tries in the 50-7 win at Mill Road.

And there were also eye-catching performances by Dan Whiteman and his pack of forwards while the returning Brett Cutbush controlled things with typical efficiency at scrum half.

With league leaders North Walsham winning at second-placed Southend, the win lifted Colchester back above their south Essex rivals as the season approaches its midway point.

On a dry and still day, Colchester were ahead inside five minutes, Cutbush released by Nick Flexman to scoot under the posts. Harvey Skinner added the conversion.

Old Priorians then enjoyed their best spell of the first half, with Colchester pinned back in their own 22 for more than 10 minutes.

When Whiteman finally broke free to release Max Payne down the left wing, Oly Pickett still had work to do to touch down. Skinner converted.

With the siege lifted, the tries flowed. Richie Kaisia’s direct line to the posts was followed minutes later by Bundy’s first, securing the bonus point inside half an hour. Both tries were converted by Skinner.

Bundy had to work harder for his second – crossing the line despite the best efforts of three defenders.

Skinner missed the conversion but leading 33-0 Colchester effectively had the match wrapped up at the interval.

Colchester rung the changes at the start of the second half – Jerome Awesu came on for Callum Jeffery and Conor O’Reilly for Max Payne.

But they were soon reduced to 14 men when Graeme Hay was sin-binned for tackling a man off the ball.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Colchester laid siege to the Priorians’ line, with Bundy eventually galloping over. Five minutes later the wing had his fourth - O’Reilly breaking on the right and timing his final pass perfectly. Skinner converted.

Leading 45-0, Colchester could be forgiven for taking their eye off the ball and the flow of the match was not helped by a yellow card for Callum Jeffery.

Less than a minute later Flexman joined him in the sin-bin for an illegal clear-out.

Down to 13 men, Colchester couldn’t hold out and Priorians finally got on the scoreboard, Alex Ozegovic’s try converted by James Booth.

But it was Colchester who had the final word, captain Dan Whiteman flying out of heavy traffic to score on his 201st appearance for the club.

Colchester first team manager Jon Smith described the first half as “possibly some of our best rugby of the season” and said Bundy was getting “better and better every week.”

Colchester now face two challenging matches on the road before Christmas.

They are at Eton Manor on Saturday before playing a pre-Christmas match against nearest neighbours Sudbury, who put 44 points on Brentwood this weekend.

“That’s building up to be a very big game because Sudbury are a much-improved side from last year,” added Smith. “We’ve got two incredibly tough games on the horizon."