North Walsham 0 Norwich 15
Today Norwich U13’s travelled to the home of Nth Walsham RFC at Scottow, an eagerly anticipated meeting which over the last couple of years has produced some closely contested games. This particular game was to be no exception with both sides playing with enthusiasm and commitment.
Whilst the weather was not brilliant, dull grey skies with some light intermittent rain, it wasn’t as cold as it had been during previous weeks. This allowed the boys to run through their warm up drills with the coaches and prepare themselves properly for the mornings play.
Once again we had a fantastic turnout with 24 Norwich boys present, this included 3 new boys; Drew, Harvey and Logan (welcome to Norwich Rugby club boys) who were turning out for Norwich for the first time. This again meant that we would be able to produce two teams which would give the boys plenty of game time and allow the further development of all our boys in specific skill areas of their game.
As in previous weeks the format for the day was to play four 15-minute games, with no substitutions being made by Norwich except in the case of injury. This would allow for all the boys to get an equal and maximum amount of game play through the morning.
So it was then that Norwich took to the field for their first game of the morning against a well drilled and focused looking Nth. Walsham side. In the first five minutes it was apparent our boys were a little sluggish and did not appear to be firing on all cylinders; however that said in close contact they were strong and committed to competing for the ball at every given opportunity.
Nth. Walsham pressed Norwich relentlessly and doggedly forced Norwich to defend deep in their own half. Once the cobwebs had been blown away, Norwich decided that it was time to come to the party and started to move the ball effectively, making in-roads towards Nth Walshams try line.
It should be said that although Nth Walsham were strong in the scrum Norwich’s forwards were resolute in their efforts and dominated this area of the game most of the time. An extremely hard fought first match of the morning, which ended Norwich 5 – Nth. Walsham 5, Norwich’s try coming from a well-worked ruck with Alfie making an impressive powerful surge for the try line.
After a short brake Norwich took to the field for their second game of the morning. Again a very tough hard fought match with Nth Walsham coming out strongly with a determination to dominate a Norwich squad, which was not as physically strong as the previous one. That said Norwich worked hard as a squad and in particular supported each other at the breakdown and the ensuing ruck, putting Nth Walsham under pressure.
Although Norwich worked hard to keep a very strong Nth Walsham side at bay, Nth Walsham were able to break down the Norwich defence on a number of occasions giving them the match win. It was good to see our new boys, who have not had much in the way of competitive rugby, get stuck in and work hard to support their new teammates.
Game three and the rested players take to the field once again against a confident Nth Walsham side. This time Norwich started the game as they had finished the last, dominating the scrum and working hard at the breakdown. Whilst Nth Walsham worked hard at pressing Norwich, our boys defended strongly and rebuffed any attempt by Nth Walsham to attack their try line. As I have already said Norwich dominated the scrum most of the day but it was their improvement around the ruck during this period of play, which was most notable, and gave them the edge over Nth Walsham. A hard fought game, which Norwich was able to dictate with tries from Alex, Alfie and Alvin, which made the final score, Norwich 15 – Nth. Walsham 0.
And so to the final game of the day, our boys took to the field and worked hard to hold back a committed Nth Walsham side. Although our boys were committed to disrupting Nth Walsham’s attack, the more physically stronger and tactically astute Nth Walsham side were able to breakdown the Norwich defence resulting in a win for our hosts. It was testament to our boy’s tenacity to playing that although under great pressure, they never once let their heads drop and still played with enthusiasm and commitment.
Overall a great mornings rugby, lots to take away and work on, but a real effort by all concerned to put on a great display of rugby.
A special mention for Harvey who was picked by the Nth Walsham team as our player of the match, well done Harvey.