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I am immensely proud to have been elected President of Norwich Rugby Football Club as it enters its 134th season. For those of you who do not have a clue who I am, I fully intend to spend as much time as possible during the season meeting as many of ... More
 
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Match Report

Norwich 12 Southwold 6

26/10/2019

Norwich 12 Southwold 6

This try-less and fiercely contested game went beyond the clock with the outcome still in the balance.

Norwich were unable to match the attacking performance of last week, in wet and windy conditions, that made handling difficult and resulted in a game for the purist. It was played out between two evenly matched sides, neither of whom chose to take full advantage of the wind, when they had it.

Southwold home-6.jpg

With the wind behind them in the first half, Norwich struck first after two minutes when Southwold were penalised in front of their posts, about 30 metres out. Theo Elliott took the points.

The play ebbed and flowed throughout the game with both sides having periods of dominance, but neither defence being breached.

Southwold home-10_1.jpg

Fifteen minutes in, Norwich had another penalty in front of goal, when a Southwold prop slipped the bind on a scrum.  Elliott took the points.

Norwich’s best chance of a try in the first half came from a scrum on 5 metres, wide on the right, but the visitors turned it over and cleared their lines.

Southwold home-13.jpg

Southwold struck back with a close range penalty from Luke Wade, into the wind, to reduce the arrears just before half time.

Norwich had a chance to stretch their lead again, a couple of minutes into the second half, but the kick held up into the wind.  Norwich then put themselves under pressure by failing to deal with a long-range clearance from the Southwold goal line and dominance returned to the visitors.

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Having got down into Norwich territory, Southwold then had much the better of the next 15 minutes but with the Norwich defence refusing to yield, the visitors took the sensible option of a kick at goal when it was offered to them for offside and Wade levelled the scores.

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With 20 minutes left, Norwich fought their way upfield into the wind and were awarded a scrum penalty in front of the posts which Elliott converted. Shortly afterwards, Southwold had a penalty kick at the posts from wide on the right, but the wind carried it wide.

Southwold home-24.jpg

Norwich then grafted their way back into Southwold’s 22 and applied a lot of pressure to their line, looking quite likely to score, but the visitors held them at bay, albeit illegally, conceding a penalty right in front of the posts, which Elliott kicked.

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With a six point lead and the clock running down, it was all about whether the Norwich defence could prevent Southwold scoring a converted try and snatch the victory, as they did last season. Norwich’s cause was not helped when Captain Matt Selby was sent to the bin for a high tackle with three minutes left.

 Southwold home-36.jpg

With time up but the ball still live, Southwold pounded away at the Norwich line, with the forwards picking up and driving, but the home defence held firm, gradually pushing them back from their line.  Having sucked in the defence, Southwold spotted a chance down the blind side and went for it.  The superb Norwich defensive effort still refused to yield and Southwold were tackled into touch to bring the game to an end.

Andy Mick

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There will be a few more photos on Facebook but it was a horrible day for photos and the players (helpfully) continually moved to wherever I wasn't - Ed.

Many thanks to our two mascots who turned out on a horrible day.

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