Norwich punished for turning in a below-par performance

Norwich's Phil Buckley takes on a Wanstead opponent during Saturday's disappointing defeat. Picture:

Norwich's Phil Buckley takes on a Wanstead opponent during Saturday's disappointing defeat. Picture: Andy Micklethwaite - Credit: Archant

This was a very disappointing performance from Norwich against one of the pacesetters in the league.

They needed to set their stall out early on and having got into their opponents' 22 were awarded with a penalty in front of the posts which fly-half Theo Elliott duly kicked.

Wanstead soon got into their stride however and worked hard to get into Norwich territory and what appeared to be a fairly innocuous kick ahead from fly-half Tim Cougland turned into a nightmare for the visitors as full back Chris Parrott got dispossessed. The ball was moved wide and Cougland finished off the move to score half way out but failed with the conversion.

Norwich were not making life easy for themselves with a series of unforced errors when they should have been securing the ball and using the wind, which was in their favour.

As it was from another turnover Wanstead won the ball and flanker Tony Sweeney strolled through at least four feeble tackles to score near the posts. The conversion was given despite the fact that one of the touch judges indicated it had been missed.

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Norwich regrouped and were awarded a penalty which Elliott converted. At this stage the visitors were one score away from taking the lead but again unforced errors cost them dearly. Replacement Josh Wilson got yellow carded and shortly afterwards a loose ball was scooped up by centre Alfie Cox who took advantage of more pretty poor tackling and scored near the posts. Cougland missed the easy conversion, leaving the score at the break 17-6.

Norwich dominated the second half but despite being encamped in the Wanstead 22 for the first 10 minutes they could not get over the whitewash. Credit has to be given to some great home defence. After about 20 minutes Wanstead's first visit into the Norwich 22 brought the crucial score as another defensive mistake let flanker Scott Bird in for the bonus point try.

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Norwich then piled on the pressure but stout defence kept them out although were a little unlucky when a super pass from Elliott put Jonny Wheater through, only for the pass to be adjudged forward.

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