Norwich 44 Basildon 10 – Newcomer shines as hosts win again
- Credit: Andy Micklethwaite
After heavy rain had fallen in the morning the conditions for flowing rugby were not ideal but Norwich made light of them and produced some delightful stuff to make it four wins out of four so far this season, writes Chris Gillham.
They introduced centre JJ Raven who on his debut looked a class act. Within 14 minutes they were 12 points up with tries from Raven and and his co-centre Jonny Wheater, the second of which was converted by Ben Girling.
Moments later Norwich stole their opponents' lineout ball and some superb handling saw right wing Martin Cullum put over in the corner for a try that went unconverted.
After 30 minutes, with Norwich comfortably in control, Archie Vickers on the left wing scored a great try again after some deft handling in the backs. Vickers was later yellow carded for what the referee described as persistent infringing.
Basildon soon demonstrated that they were not there to make up the numbers and just before half- time they scored from a rolling maul, Gary Burke getting the touchdown. This was not converted, leaving the score at half-time 22-5 to Norwich.
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Three minutes into the second half Norwich scored again. A poor Basildon kick out of defence was gathered and a great break by No 8 Laurence Austin was finished off by skipper Gareth Leake, who went over under the posts. Amazingly the conversion attempt was charged down.
Minutes later Norwich set up a rolling maul and prop Peter Hosking got the touchdown and again the kick was unconverted. Norwich wrapped up the game when another Austin break saw full back Richie Rhodes score halfway out and yet again the conversion was missed.
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These three tries might have knocked the stuffing out of many sides but to their credit the visitors got back into the game.
Norwich were guilty of taking their foot off the pedal, the game became scrappy and Basildon were rewarded for their efforts with a try from a rolling maul after a lineout and back rower James Bunce was credited with the score.
Norwich concluded proceedings with another Wheater try which replacement JC Brown converted. Norwich sit at the top of the table, albeit only on points difference from diss, knowing that there are things to work on, not least their place kicking which could be vital in closer games to come.