Upminster 38, Norwich 15

Chris Gillham
Monday, October 8, 2012
3:39 PM

Norwich suffered their first defeat of the season in London 3NE.

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The visitors played with the notorious Upminster slope in the first half and dominated the first 20 minutes. Centres Nick Austin and Scott Hancocks caused all sorts of problems but despite creating chances Norwich only had a penalty goal kicked by James Brown to show for their efforts

The bigger home pack was beginning to make its presence felt and right wing Tony Norton was put over in the corner and Robert Stanley added an excellent conversion from out wide.

The telling point came soon after when influential Norwich hooker Josh Ives suffered a neck injury which left him on the ground, causing a stoppage of some seven or eight minutes. He eventually recovered to be helped from the pitch but took no further part in the game. Not only was he missed for his dynamism round the park but also for his throwing in at the lineout.

Having been under the cosh in the scrums Norwich were finding difficulty in securing their own lineout ball. Upminster quickly took advantage and scored two tries just before the break, one of which was converted, to give them a 19-13 lead.

Norwich’s fate was sealed when Stanley scored near the posts after five minutes into the second half. He missed the simple conversion.

Norwich’s problems were compounded when Riches, who had come back on for Ives, was helped off the pitch with an injury incurred in trying to stop the try. As a result the game went to uncontested scrummages and five minutes later the hosts added a further try.

It is to Norwich’s credit that they got back into the game with a try under the posts after full back Jonny Wheater had gathered an errant kick and set off along the left hand touchline, outpacing the cover to find Coltman inside him who scored. Brown added the conversion.

With 10 minutes left Norwich lost the ball inside their own 22 and the hosts added another try which was converted.

Coltman scored Norwich’s second try in the dying moments as a consolation which Brown could not convert.

Norwich’s coaching staff have the job of picking the side up for the RFU Vase game next week against Datchworth and will be assessing the injury situation in the process.

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