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Norwich poised for daunting trip to league leaders Rochford

PUBLISHED: 06:25 06 April 2018

Norwich on their way to victory over Old Cooperians at Beeston Hyrne. Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Norwich on their way to victory over Old Cooperians at Beeston Hyrne. Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Archant

Norwich face potentially their toughest league game of the season away to Rochford Hundred, who are looking to seal their promotion this weekend.

Norwich are sitting third, ahead of Wanstead who have a much easier run-in.

But their cause will not be helped by a significant absentee list that includes Matt Selby, Peter Hosking, Robbie Bridgstock, Tom Stanley, Ryan Bigland and Josh Wilson – all unavailable. Mike Lawton, and Nathan Wilson are still on the injury list and are joined long-term by Rob Micklethwaite. Vivek Valmiki and Jason Hynd will make their first team debuts after some great performances for the Lions, both having started the season in the A XV – a great achievement.

Looking ahead to the clash with the London Two North East leaders, coach Jonny O’Brien said: “This will be a really tough penultimate game of the season for us. I was delighted last time we played them at home and after the game their coach said we had been their hardest opponents in the league to that point.

“For the players to reach those heights again everyone will have to be at their best. Defensively we’ve been excellent all season and we’ll need to retain the ball and patiently build our phases.”

Director of Rugby David Everitt added: “We will have to be far more disciplined than we were against Old Cooperians last time out. We have allowed the pressure off opponents recently by giving away far too many penalties in the attacking third. Although we lost to Rochford at home we kept them down to 15-26 and that is the lowest score they have recorded all season. But if we give away silly penalties they are capable of taking full advantage and will give us a torrid time.”

The Lions host West Norfolk II and the A XV have a double header league and Norfolk cup semi-final at Wymondham III. The first and second team games kick off at 3pm while the A XV fixture starts at 2.30pm to allow for extra-time.

In London Three North East third hosts fourth as Holt travel to Ely knowing they must win the game to stand any chance of finishing third themselves. Crusaders round off their campaign with a home fixture against Wisbech while West Norfolk travel to Newmarket.

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