Civil Service 55, Norwich 15

Norwich suffered their second heaviest defeat of the season against table topping Civil Service, who are by far the strongest team in the league. s

Norwich suffered their second heaviest defeat of the season against table topping Civil Service, who are by far the strongest team in the league.

They play a very robust and streetwise brand of rugby that shows the influence of their many mercenaries from the southern hemisphere. Norwich, however, played with wide-eyed innocence and were no match for their hosts, who chose to play the first half wind assisted.

Norwich attacked from the kick-off and both Jack Marczewski and Haydon Cocker made good probing snipes into their opponents' 22. Unfortunately Cocker took the full weight of a huge prop and had to leave the field. This was not before Norwich had been penalised for crossing and Hamish Ruslin had put Service into the lead, nor before the aforementioned prop had blatantly obstructed Barry O'Sullivan who was deemed to have tackled without the ball and was sent to the bin.

Caldwell then streaked through the Norwich centre to score under the posts. Ruslin converted and with the game only 15 minutes old, Service led by 10-0.


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For the next 10 minutes Norwich worked hard with, O'Sullivan now in galvanised mode. However, from a close range line-out, Service contrived a rolling maul and when it was halted Banks nipped over to score and Ruslin converted for a 17-0 lead.

The next 10 minutes saw the home team score three more converted tries that increased their lead to 38 points. Norwich reminded Service that they were still there, when O'Sullivan broke through and Luke Bacon finished off by scoring in the corner. Half-time followed with the score at 38-5.

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It took the home team 15 minutes to score the first points of the second half to make it 43-5. Then came back-to-back tries from well contested rolling mauls, Marczewski scoring for Norwich before the home team's reply.

With 15 minutes of the half to go, the score was 48-10 and Norwich were still working hard in attack until the Service winger broke clear, kicked ahead, caught a lucky bounce that had wrong footed the Norwich defence, and scored under the posts. Ruslin converted to make the score 55-10. Norwich continued to play a passing game and were eventually rewarded when young Jonathan Pott rounded off his excellent game with a try in the corner.

This defeat, combined with wins for Letchworth and Woodford, left Norwich third from bottom in the table with just two matches left to play.

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