Friday, February 8, 2013
Norwich have their second consecutive home game this weekend when they entertain East London, who are currently bottom of the league.
Anyone expecting this to be an easy win will not be found among the players or coaching staff, whose memories extend far enough to recall banana skin games in the not too distant past. Although victorious at the away game earlier in the season, Norwich were made to work very hard for it, coming out winners 40-20, but with the result far from decided until late in the game.
Although it has been a tough season for the boys from West Ham, they have made several strong teams work hard for their wins, including Upminster (23-40) and Harlow (8-17).
The heavy defeat they suffered at Wisbech some months ago was mainly down to sending a weak side away with only three first XV regulars.
The ground conditions will most likely not favour Norwich’s style of play, but it is a very important game for them. They will not only want to secure a bonus point win but to close the gap on the points difference with their joint second placed rivals Wanstead, who they play the following week.
Nothing whatsoever will be taken for granted as East London will have nothing to lose and will relish the opportunity to upset the form book.
Norwich will be without influential centre Dougie Greenwood and centre/wing Jordi Walker. Chris Parrott will come in at 10 and Nick Austin will move out to a familiar position at 12. Veteran back row Scott Norman will appear on the bench along with Dan Evans.
Elsewhere in the section Beccles travel to league leaders South Woodham Ferrers and Wisbech host Old Brentwoods.
n In Greene King Eastern Counties Division One Wymondham entertain Thurston at Tuttles Lane.
Although this is a top versus bottom clash, Thurston have been competitive in most matches and there should be no complacency from the hosts as they need to keep pressure on the ever-improving Ipswich YM, now just three points behind them with a game in hand.
Crusaders are also at home, with Southwold providing the opposition while West Norfolk visit Hadleigh.