Norwich relieved to wrap up victory
Wanstead 11, Norwich 17: Norwich were made to work hard for this win and only wrapped up the game in the last 15 minutes.
The referee seemed to have a rather laissez-faire attitude as to what went on at the breakdown and as a result the Wanstead No 7 had a field day.Time and time again he prevented Norwich winning quick ball, getting himself between the ball carrier and the support.
Norwich were loath to emulate him as the referee – after the visitors had conceded two penalties – warned that the next offence would result in a yellow card .
From the warning it was the home side who opened the scoring with a well struck penalty kicked by Phil Hooker after eight minutes.
Norwich looked sharp outside but were unable to finish off a couple of chances by overcomplicating matters when it would have been easier to put the ball through the hands. However a well worked training ground move from a lineout saw Gareth Leake barge over to register Norwich's first score which Josh Ives could not convert.
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Norwich should have increased the lead but having got themselves into scoring positions a couple of lineouts were conceded from which Wanstead were able to relieve the pressure. The hosts got more into the game as the half progressed and it was all they deserved when left wing Nic Turner went over in the corner after some sloppy Norwich defence out wide.The try was not converted and the score remained 8-5 in Wanstead's favour at half-time .
Norwich inconsistency at the lineout was not helping their cause which was a shame as the week before the lineout had worked like clockwork. However after a period of Norwich pressure and a patient build-up Simon Darby crashed over in the right hand corner but Ives was just wide with the conversion.
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Any thoughts of Norwich wrapping the game up were dispelled when the home side retook the lead with a simple penalty after 25 minutes kicked by Hooker .
With time running out Norwich were awarded a penalty half way out near the opposition's 22 metre line.Ives struck it beautifully only to see it bounce off the right hand upright straight into the arms of flanker Paul Micklethwaite who went over under the posts. Ives added the conversion. This rather took the stuffing out of Wanstead and Norwich were happy just to see out time to clinch an important away win .