London 2NE: Norwich 24 Epping Upper Clapton 32
- Credit: Archant
For the second week running Norwich slipped to defeat against a newly promoted club who they last played at least 20 years ago.
The visitors soon demonstrated why they are where they are with a robust start that took Norwich, missing some key players, by surprise. After six minutes they took the lead with a simple penalty kicked by fly-half Harry Barker.
Norwich then got into the game thanks to a timely interception from winger Jed Tearle. He was caught just short of the 22 but the ball was recycled for Lawrence Austin to go over in the corner for a try which was not converted and Norwich led for the only time in the game.
The visitors then scored two tries, both of which came from poor kicks out of defence which were gathered. Some slipshod defence saw winger Shad Smith go over under the posts for Barker to add the easy conversion and the second came in exactly the same way for left wing Laurie Dobbin to outpace the defence to score in the corner for one which went uncoverted
In a match that see-sawed throughout Norwich reduced the arrears with a magnificent try from Richie Rhodes who broke down the right wing, chipped ahead gathered the ball and scored under the posts. Chris Parrott added the conversion to leave the score at half-time 12-15 in favour of the visitors.
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It was the visitors who went further ahead when they kicked a penalty into the corner and from the lineout prop forward Cameron Furlong burrowed over. The conversion was missed.
Norwich came straight back and with the referee playing good advantage captain Pip Scott got over under the posts for Parrott to add the conversion to make it 19-20 with a quarter of the game remaining.
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As the game ebbed and flowed it was Epping who increased their lead with a try from a five metre scrum scored by No 8 Mitch Sinfield which Barker could not convert.
Norwich were not finished and another great individual effort, this time from Parrott, saw the winger go over halfway out but he could not convert.
With time running out Norwich were chasing the game but instead of running the tiring Epping forwards around the park they cut back inside too often and it was the visitors who wrapped the game up with another try by Sinfield which was converted by Barker.