Norwich 39, East London 8
- Credit: Archant
This was a game that Norwich had to win and win well. East London are bottom of London 3NE and without a win this season. However, they put up a spirited performance and with 20 minutes to go were still in game until Norwich wrapped it up with three tries in the last quarter.
Norwich started well and were rewarded with a penalty after two minutes from scrum half JC Brown. For the next 10 minutes it was all Norwich but small errors crept in to prevent a score. Perhaps they conscious of the need to increase their points difference on Wanstead and were guilty of trying to force matters when a calmer approach would have been more appropriate.
As it was East levelled after 16 minutes through a well taken drop goal from full back Fabio Saki.
This spurred Norwich into action and they took the lead again with a lovely try from centre Scott Hancocks after the ball had been moved quickly wide through the hands. Just before half-time Norwich added a further score from fly half Chris Parrot after Hancocks had charged down an East kick. Parrot went over under the posts to give Brown an easy conversion and the half-time lead by 15- 3.
If Norwich thought that East were going to lie down and surrender such thoughts were quickly dispelled. The visitors dominated the early exchanges of the second half and were rewarded with a well taken try by second row Matthew Buxton.
Norwich brought on Matt Selby for his debut and Ben Thompson at prop and hooker respectively which certainly did not seem to weaken them in the set pieces.
Again Norwich bounced back with another excellent Hancocks try converted by Brown. There then followed a very ordinary passage of play as Norwich seemed reluctant to commit numbers to the breakdown. Too often East were able to turn over possession, preventing Norwich from getting the ball wide.
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In the last 20 minutes Norwich started to put that right. Brown went over under the posts unopposed to give himself another simple conversion and the bonus point.
Norwich wrapped the game up with two great tries, both very simply executed. The first came from a good drive by the forwards and the ball moved along the line for Jonny Wheater to score in the corner.
The second – the best of the game – came from a sweeping movement from the backs who got the ball to left wing Toby Neal who had come off his wing. He scorched down the right hand touch line from half way to score in the corner.
With Wanstead losing Norwich moved into second place but they know they will have to play better if they are to meet the challenges to come starting next week away to Old Brentwoods.