Basildon 5, Norwich 8 – Last-minute penalty secures a dramatic win in the mud

Stu Seppings off-loads for Norwich. Picture: ANDY MICKLETHWAITE

Stu Seppings off-loads for Norwich. Picture: ANDY MICKLETHWAITE - Credit: Archant

Norwich returned home with a narrow victory after a match that was played in mud-bath conditions.

The Basildon first team surface was unplayable so the game was transferred to a nearby council pitch, which although very wet was just about playable.

In the first half the game was played in driving rain and sleet which made handling very difficult. Norwich had the better of the early exchanges and after a series of lineouts near the opposition's line should have scored but handling errors let them down.

If anything Norwich were guilty of trying to play too much with the ball in hand when a better option would have been to kick for position and play from there.

After 30 minutes Basildon had visited the Norwich half twice and on the second occasion they scored with a try from a rolling maul to take the lead. The conversion was missed.

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Norwich continued to dominate territorially but could not get over the line. Michael Campton-Smith ran a lovely line with great support but the final pass went down and so the home side retained the lead at half-time which, although slender, seemed like gold dust in the circumstances.

The second half saw Norwich dominate territory even more than they had in the first but despite having plenty of possession they could not convert it into points. The Norwich front five were totally dominant in the tight scrums and despite having a series of scrums inside the Basildon 22 somehow the home line stayed intact.

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With half an hour gone in the half the Norwich travelling faithful could have been forgiven for thinking that this was another one which had got away. However to their credit the Norwich forwards thought otherwise and were rewarded with a try from a rolling maul, with the touchdown credited to Matt Selby. JC Brown could not manage the conversion.

The rest of the game was spent with Norwich pressing for the vital score and they were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty try in the dying moments.

But they kept going and eventually secured the win they thoroughly deserved when they were awarded a last-minute penalty under the posts which Brown coolly slotted over.

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