Norwich RFC wary of threat lowly Lowestoft & Yarmouth can still pose

Mark Fernie, pictured in action during Norwich RFC's 27-24 home defeat to leaders Ipswich, is doubtf

Mark Fernie, pictured in action during Norwich RFC's 27-24 home defeat to leaders Ipswich, is doubtful for Norwich's trip to L&Y. Photos: Andy Miclethwaite. - Credit: Andy Miclethwaite

Vital points are up for grabs when Norwich take a trip to the coast tomorrow to play Lowestoft & Yarmouth for their last game before Christmas.

The sides met earlier in the season at Beeston Hyrne when Norwich found a couple of late tries to win an even contest 26-17.

Last week Norwich narrowly lost 27-24 at home against league leaders Ipswich and go into their next derby clash mindful of the fact that Holt were defeated 22-10 at L&Y earlier in the season.

The game is crucial to both sides as L&Y are still bottom on -1 points after a point deduction and Norwich are two places higher in the London 2NE table, with 16 points.

Norwich will still be without Jo Riches and Mark Fernie is doubtful, which will mean a move into the second row for Simon Darby alongside Chris Drohan. Both Jordi Walker and Adie Ball are also unavailable.

Norwich director of rugby, David Everitt, said: 'This will be a stern test for the new found confidence the team has shown of late.

'We are looking forward to the game but have to understand that Lowestoft & Yarmouth are fighting for the lives and will be no easy opponents, they never are.

'It is an old fashioned derby and whoever wants the bragging rights for Christmas most, will win.'

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Norwich are just four points behind Holt, who travel to Stowmarket, with both clubs desperate for a win following away defeats last Saturday.

Holt go into the game on the back of a 30-12 defeat to high-flying Saffron Walden and Stowmarket a 44-21 loss at Braintree.

Forwards coach Penny Chapman said: 'We'd asked for a reaction from the players following the Norwich game (a 33-25 home defeat) and we certainly got it, with a performance, particularly in defence, that everyone associated with the club should be proud of.

'Our scramble defence was immense, with all the players but particularly Karl Rumsby and Adam Loane putting in some great tackles and whilst Saffron were deserved winners, I don't think the score or reports of the match truly reflect the part we played in it.'

With Holt having only won one of six away games and Stowmarket having only won two from five at home, Saturday's game stands to be a closer game than when Stowmarket lost 50-5 at High Kelling in September.

Holt have done well at Stomarket in recent seasons, winning 40-10 in Suffolk last season and 18-16 the season before.

Backs coach, Ed Steed, added: 'We have a small squad and we're getting stretched very thin, but there's no point feeling sorry for ourselves. We've got ourselves into this position and only we can get us out of it.

'We deserve to go into the game as underdogs, but we often get the best from the players when we are.'

Related links

Photo gallery: Norwich RFC push leaders Ipswich all the way at Beeston Hyrne

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