Norwich 24, Sudbury 10
After a disappointing defeat at Canvey Island last week Norwich returned to winning ways in London 3NE against Sudbury on Saturday.
The first 30 minutes were evenly matched with both sides having opportunities to score that neither were able to secure. It was however, a much more determined Norwich from the outset, showing the passion and determination that was missing last week, and it was necessary given how closely matched the sides were.
Just after the 30th minute Norwich won the ball in the Sudbury 22 and passed it down their back line before full back Wheater cut back across the angle of play and forced his way over the Sudbury. Winger Rob Micklethwaite kicked the conversion to give Norwich a 7-0 lead.
Seven minutes later Sudbury conceded a penalty out to the left that Micklethwaite kicked to give the home team a 10-0 lead at half time. However with the wind and rain gathering speed in the visitors' favour in the second half Norwich supporters feared that their lead might be insufficient.
Norwich started the second half brightly, taking the opportunity to pounce on handling errors in the Sudbury backs which put the visitors under pressure. Norwich thought that they had scored a pushover try but the referee adjudged the ball to be knocked-on over the line.
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Norwich were applying good pressure to the Sudbury defence but some comment made to the referee resulted in a penalty which undid much of their good work.
Both sides then created more opportunities with Norwich's scrum gaining the ascendancy but it wasn't until the 26th minute that man of the match Si Darby broke through the visitors' defence and stormed into the Sudbury half at full speed resulting in him scoring a try under the posts which Rob Micklethwaite converted taking the score to 17-0.
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Norwich forwards were just shading it up front but Sudbury looked dangerous on the counter- attack providing more men out wide for the hosts to defend against.
Norwich then relaxed and left wing Beckett scored a try in the right hand corner which was not converted but brought the visitors back into the game at 17-5. This seemed to stir Norwich back into determined action with back row forwards Dave Micklethwaite, Aaron Nicholson and Laurence Austin securing the ball on a number of occasions which eventually led to a try by Hancocks that Rob Micklethwaite again converted, taking Norwich's lead to 24-5.
As the gloom descended into almost total darkness, Gabriel Carroll scored a consolation try in the right hand corner from another good break out of defence that was not converted.
Norwich may be disappointed not to have gained a bonus point having had sufficient opportunities to secure it but with two difficult games coming up they will be pleased to have got the win.