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Match Report

Norwich Lions 7 Norwich Union 1st XV 24


Norwich Lions 7 Norwich Union 1st XV 24

Another disappointing day at the office for the Norwich Lions. Having looked at the records, the last time we played NU, 8 of the players were the same, and from our last game v Broadland, only 8 players were the same. So, consistency is an issue that the Lions have suffered for most of the season. The players selected are all good enough to play at Lions standard but teamwork is so key in the modern game and playing and training together does make a good side.

With all that said we welcomed NU ones to Beeston Hyrne on a lovely crisp January day. Having two call offs on Saturday, with an original squad of 17, young Sam Walpole accepted a call up from the AXV. Luckily James Phillippo was at the club, with kit, having had a knee operation and was eventually persuaded to put kit on and come on the bench. So back to 17.

The Lions knew that NU would use their large pack effectively and had a game plan accordingly. The game kicked off and NU showed their intent and put pressure on the Lions immediately. Defence was good but NU made ground. When it came to scrums the line-up of Gilding, Wookey and Phillips M was dwarfed by the NU front row. NU drove the Lions back on several occasions showing great technique, much to their Hookers delight. NU soon got on the score sheet 0-7. They continued their dominance with their forwards and despite the Lions best efforts, which were thwarted by errors, NU scored again. 0-12.

After 15-20 minutes Mike Phillips went off with a rib injury to be replace by his son Samuel Phillips. Wookey went to TH prop making space for Sam at Hooker. The game settled down a little now and the referee was getting frustrated with consistent infringements from both sides. The Lions did find themselves with some possession and worked their way up field and pressured the NU line but managed to panic at the last moment and by trying to rush the try only ended up knocking on. But this pressure showed that the Lions had what it takes and a little confidence was gained. Half time came.

The start of the second half was a much better one for the Lions. They pushed the NU team downfield who were consistently getting on the wrong side of the ref. They put together some driving mauls and attacking lines and were eventually awarded a penalty try. 7-12. Game on.

Nathan Wilson came off following a knock to his shoulder for James Phillippo to enter the arena. The aggressive carries from Phillips S, Phillippo, Fry and Drohan began to make a difference from the first half performance. NU received a yellow card for persistent holding on. Then when an NU player and Pat Gilding were both lying injured on the pitch NU managed to intercept and run 40 meters to score against the run of play. 7-19. Gilding left the field of play for Wilson to come back on. This seemed to knock the Lions confidence and NU who were playing with 14 raised their game. This resulted in yet another NU try to give them their bonus point. 7-24.

The NU prop and captain, Simon was given a team yellow for handling on the floor. The game ended thus.

Report - Mike Phillips

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