North Walsham 10 Norwich 14
Another away game today, this time to the home of our old friends and rivals Nth. Walsham Rugby Club.
17 boys made the journey to Scottow and having made their way to the playing field were put through their paces by the coaches. Nth Walsham had recruited a few more players in recent times and were able to put out a physically stronger and tactically astute side; it was going to be a tough day at the coalface for our boys.
After both sides were put through their paces by the coaches and after a pre match inspection/chat by the morning’s match official; the boys took to the field for the start of the first half.
If anybody was expecting a gentile ‘jolly hockey sticks’ kind of game they were going to be very disappointed; because what we got was a coming together of two groups the like of which would not have been out of place on the African savannah.
Both sides tackled hard and worked diligently at the ruck and maul, which made for an amazing spectacle. Both sets of supporters could not but be impressed by the commitment that their boys were showing.
Nth Walsham played a very physical game, which had been bolstered by their new players and put Norwich to the test. Norwich were equally as physical and it is fair to say at times were more so however for a fair portion of the first half Norwich had to defend deep into their own half.
It was during one of these periods of strong defensive work that Norwich were able to take advantage of a Nth Walsham error which allowed the ball to be taken by Alvin who ran nearly the whole length of the pitch with Nth Walsham on his heels to score our first try. The try was ably converted by Tom, which consolidated Alvin’s try and gave Norwich a 7-0 lead.
Nth Walsham responded as anyone would expect and kept the pressure on Norwich, again some great defensive work kept them at bay but unfortunately Norwich got caught out of shape and Nth Walsham were able to work the ball over the try line; an unconverted kick meant that Norwich went into half time 7-5 up.
With only a converted try kick separating the two teams Norwich had to keep up the intensity and play savvy rugby if they wanted to end the game victorious. Of course Nth Walsham didn’t see it this way and we were once again privileged to watch 30+ boys play their socks off.
Once again Norwich came to the attention of the match official and were cited for a few penalties during the game, however there can be no denying that our boys showed fantastic enthusiasm throughout the game, and penalties aside played with the va va voom we have come to expect.
It was obvious that this game was not going to be a high scoring game with both sides working well and demolishing any attack mounted by the other side. But then another lovely piece of individual play by Jack enabled him to jig by the Nth Walsham defence and blast down the wing to score Norwich’s second try of the day. Once again the try was converted by Tom, which gave Norwich the lead 14-5.
Nth Walsham once again came back at Norwich, who it has to say defended brilliantly, unfortunately Nth Walsham raised their intensity and using their bigger players to tie down our front row were able to move the ball out to the wing and score the final try of the day, an unconverted kick meant the score was now Nth Walsham 10 – Norwich 14.
When the final whistle came for the end of the game it was clear from the reaction of all the players that this win meant a lot and had taken considerable effort from our boys.
What a game, it had everything that you could want, excitement, intensity, gamesmanship and euphoria (I’ve checked I haven’t used that word before).
To sum up a great days work by our boys, still with plenty to learn and take away, thank you to Nth Walsham for one of our toughest games this season so far.
Our man of the match goes to Ollie; well done Ollie you had a great game keep it up.
Well-done boys keep focussed learn from the mistakes, which you’ll undoubtedly take away from today and come back next week even stronger and determined to be the best you can be.