High-flying Swaffham RUFC are given a shock as Crusaders RUFC run riot
Crusaders won their second successive Green King IPA Eastern Counties One match with arguably their best performance of the season.
Swaffham were the visitors to Beckhithe and arrived in Little Melton on a high having won their previous five league matches.
It was the Crusaders pack once again which deserved all the plaudits with another impressive performance against a larger pack.
The home side had Swaffham on the back foot from the start, when an uncharacteristic missed penalty in front of the posts by Robb Loone let the visitors off the hook.
Within minutes the forwards had made amends with a pushover try touched down by Ross Stuart which was not converted.
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When Swaffham eventually got out of their half they looked dangerous, despite all their early pressure Crusaders went behind when Tom Murray took advantage of some weak tackling in Crusaders defence to score under the posts and with the conversion they took a 7-5 lead.
Crusaders forwards once again took control of the game and, preferring a scrum to a penalty opportunity, they drove once more towards the Swaffham line and Josh Stuart picked up and finished the final metre to score his second try.
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Loone then converted from the touchline for a 12-7 lead at half-time.
Swaffham made a determined start to the second half and posed a threat out wide and a desperate high tackle on the touchline earned Pete Blinkhorn 10 minutes in the bin.
Crusaders completed a fine victory and gained a bonus point with two more tries in the second half from Pete Blinkhorn and Henry Joy, with Rob Loone adding two penalties and a conversion.
Ryan Harris, marked his debut at fly-half, expertly executed Crusaders' game plan and set an example to the team with his fearless tackling.
No.8 Ross Stuart was constantly breaching the game line, starving Swaffham of the ball all day.
n There was also a home win for Lakenham Hewett in Woodfordes Merit League Two, beating Broadland 2nds 24-12.