Ipswich 36 Norwich 35: City lose out in East Anglian derby clash
- Credit: Archant
In the history of contests between these old rivals nobody at this game could recall one where the margin of victory was just one point.
Norwich will be kicking themselves that, for the second week running, they contrived to lose a game they should have won.
For the neutral, this was a highly entertaining game, with nine tries and plenty of open rugby and both sides guilty of defensive lapses which contributed to the entertainment.
Ipswich were first on the scoresheet when No8 Chris Blom went over, winger Alan Barker missing the conversion.
Norwich got back into the game with a Mike Lawton penalty and took the lead with another after a great break by scrum-half Robbie Bridgstock. Lawton then added another penalty, although in the build-up Norwich butchered a clear scoring chance after a superb run by fly-half Chris Parrott, who had a good game.
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As the game entered the second quarter Ipswich hit back with a great try from powerful winger Chris Kolapo-Ajala, converted by Barker, to restore Ipswich's lead. From the restart Norwich scored their first try with a patient retention of possession which saw Jed Tearle go over near the post for Lawton to add the easy conversion, making it 16-12. A pattern began to emerge as Kolapo-Ajala scored almost immediately after some weak Norwich defence and Barker kicked the conversion to give the lead back to Ipswich.
Norwich did not help themselves when Nick Austin was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on inside the 22. Despite this on the stroke of half-time Norwich scored again after a lovely break by Lawton who put left wing Conan Hoey over.
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At the break Norwich led 23-19, but it was shortlived as Kolapo-Ajala scored his third try after Norwich gave away a soft penalty, Barker converting. Norwich soon scored an excellent try after a Parrott break put Hoey in, Lawton adding the conversion. Norwich led again, but gave away a penalty soon after the restart and Tim Mann scored, Barker converting to make it 33-30.
With 10 minutes left Hoey went over in the corner for what should have been the winning score. The try was not converted and with six minutes another penalty saw Barker kick the winning points.