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Match Report

North Walsham 36 Norwich 26


North Walsham 36 Norwich 26

On a cold morning, that probably announces the arrival of winter, Norwich turn up at near neighbours with a squad of 15. I believe our hosts have the same sized squad, so not too much margin for error by either side.
NW kick off and quickly press N back into our own half, after around 5 minutes N concede a penalty deep in our half . NW kick to touch and after their initial effort is blocked they recycle the ball down their line and go over close to the posts, the NW 10 converts. 7 – 0


Norwich pressure briefly after the restart but a penalty conceded deep into Walsham territory see’s them clear their lines and mount an attack, they score again, this time out wide. No conversion. 12 – 0
NW collect the restart ball and work it cleverly through hands for one of their under 16’s players to score out wide, no conversion. 17 – 0. Our Lads have a bit of a discussion under the posts, not negative but they set a plan, they remained positive.


So far it must sound like one way traffic but this was very much not the case, we had plenty of chances but failed to score due to the strong defensive play of NW.
N refocus and the ball is moving freely through the players hands, deep in the NW half , the ball ends up in the Hands of Lewis Tray who twists his way through to score near the posts. He converts his own try. 17 – 7.


Straight from the restart N move the ball quickly up field and into the hands of Ethan Hooper who makes good ground and space, he releases Josh Laskey who goes over under the posts. The conversion is made by Lewis. 17 – 14.
In a mirror move, N catch the restart and run it up the right hand side of the Walsham Half. Ethan collects a well timed pass to go over under the posts. The conversion comes back of the bar. 17 – 19


NW pump the ball deeper into the N half, the full back (sorry, don’t know you’re name) controls the bouncing ball well and advances a good distance. The ball ends up in the hands of Adam Huggins who goes on one of his mazy runs to score to the right of the posts. Sam Hayman adds the 2 points.  17- 26.
Half Time
NW come out strongly after the break and with less possession of the ball N are always fighting fires. However the defence is resolute, on about 30 minutes in to the half, NW win a penalty and run it around the N defence out wide, no conversion. 22 – 26.


NW tails are up now, whether N tired or whether they were out thought, one will never know, however their pressure was relentless.  After 3 separate held up try attempts NW go over the line out wide. The NW 10 kicks a very difficult kick to get the extra points, 29 – 26.


With 6 minutes to go, N mount a couple of promising looking attacks only for them to be snuffed out by some great NW rearguard work. There is time for a last NW try which they convert. 36 – 26 . Whistle blows.
Whilst it was disappointing to lose this game, there are certainly positives to come from today’s showing. Walsham bossed the second half and as such deserved the win.  What Norwich can be proud of and take solace from, is this, for the second half of the first half we played some great rugby.


We can look at how teams can crumble but not our side, for 20 minutes we really turned up the heat. This can only be seen as a positive to the coaches. 4 tries and 3 conversions in a 20 minute Blitzkrieg.
These lads don’t give up.
I have seen Julian’s post but one lad who hasn’t been mentioned and one that caught my eye was the N 15, I believe it was his first game back for a while, I thought he had a noteworthy game.
Thanks to North Walsham for the game, the hospitality and the after match meal. Thanks go to the referee for a well balanced display and thank you finally to the players for giving us such a magnificent game.

Graham Furness

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