Best away performance of season from Norwich

Laurence Austin played a starring role in Norwich's fine win atr Epping and Upper Clapton.

Laurence Austin played a starring role in Norwich's fine win atr Epping and Upper Clapton. - Credit: Andy Micklethwaite

This was Norwich's best away performance of the season, with the visitors twice they coming from behind to secure a bonus point.

Norwich started the game very brightly and it was no surprise when No 8 Laurence Austin went over after great interplay and some delicate handling.

Scrum-half Jonny Payne landed the conversion, but Norwich then made a hash of the restart, which got Epping onto the front foot and into the game.

After 15 minutes referee Doug Cooke awarded Epping a penalty which fly-half Harry Barnes duly converted.

The Norwich cause was not helped when Austin was yellow-carded for illegally stopping a driving maul. While he was off the field Epping scored a good try from left wing Lindsey Dobbins who went over in the corner for an unconverted try.

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Then, as the interval loomed, Norwich worked their way upfield and after good movement by the backs centre Robbie Bridgstock scored and Payne added the conversion to give his side a 14-8 lead. Norwich were soon under pressure at the start of the second half but their defence held firm, helped it has to be said by some indiscipline by the hosts.

As the game went into the final quarter Epping turned over Norwich possession on the halfway line and after moving the ball wide it was second row Michael Sinfield who went over for Epping and Barnes had no problem with the conversion to give them another one-point lead.

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Once again Norwich came storming back, however, and they were awarded a penalty just outside the Epping 22 which was kicked to the corner. From the lineout they set up a driving maul which was unstoppable and Austin got the score, which was not converted.

But Norwich had the lead which they never relinquished.

Epping did not help themselves when second row Dean McFarlane was yellow-carded with 10 minutes left. Norwich secured the game and five points with a penalty from Rob Micklethwaite and another try from a rolling maul touched down by hooker Phil Buckley, which was not converted.

Norwich have been criticised recently for not taking their chances – on Saturday they took everything on offer.

Epping Upper Clapton 15 Norwich 27

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