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Match Report

Wanstead 12 Norwich 10

01/12/2018

Wanstead 12 Norwich 10

After their excellent performance against Saffron Walden a fortnight ago Norwich supporters were looking forward to the match at Wanstead which has not been a happy hunting ground for them in recent seasons.

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Norwich dominated the early exchanges but were unable to turn that into points and Wanstead gradually drove them back aided by the number of penalties they gave away.
Following a breakout Norwich stormed into their opponents 22 and were rewarded by a Mike Lawton Penalty after 15 minutes.

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Wanstead then camped close to the Norwich line and after a succession of pick and go drives scored a converted try to give them a 7 – 3 advantage after 21 minutes.

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Three minutes later Jason Hynd was yellow carded for off-side as the referee ran out of patience with the number of penalties Norwich were conceding. With a player short Norwich were unable to stop a backline move in the 28th minute which enabled the Wanstead left wing to break through an attempted tackle and kick ahead to beat Norwich’s cover defence. The try was unconverted.

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For the next 12 minutes each side had periods of ascendency which culminated on the stroke of half-time in a penalty award and a yellow card for a Wanstead player. The kick was from a wider angle and greater distance than the previous successful kick and was missed.  The score stood at 12 – 3 for half time.

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Norwich failed to make their numerical superiority count at the beginning of the second half although they played almost entirely in the Wanstead 22. After 16 minutes Robbie Bridgstock took a quick penalty and went over the Wanstead line to score. The try was converted taking the score to 12 – 10.

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Norwich then spent most of the rest of the match in the Wanstead half of the pitch but knock-ons, taking poor options, including not kicking for goal when penalties were awarded, a weak lineout performance and some errant passing meant that they never managed to cross the Wanstead line again.

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Debutant centre Rudyard Gant came close, in the corner, to stealing it but was just ushered into touch over the corner flag by the covering defender.

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In the last minute a penalty was awarded to Norwich at the edge of Mike Lawton’s range which just faded with the wind and passed the left hand post.

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This was a game that Norwich should have won and they will have been disappointed not to be able to deliver the win they and their supporters hoped for.

Report - Andy Pott

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