Blow for Norwich as Robbie Bridgstock dislocates knee in training
- Credit: Archant
Norwich were dealt a big blow in midweek when the influential Robbie Bridgstock dislocated his knee in training.
His absence will be keenly felt on Saturday when the second half of the season gets under way with a trip to Southwold in London 2NE.
'After a very encouraging display against Basildon last week the squad was looking forward to the game at Southwold,' said director of rugby David Everitt. 'Unfortunately the injury curse to key players has struck again, with Robbie the latest casualty.
'He has been a talisman for the side with his no-nonsense approach and his destructive tackling setting an example for others to follow. He will be sadly missed and we wish him well with his recovery.'
Everitt continued: 'This is the worst season I can remember for serious injuries to key players, which normally number only one per season. This year we have had six already, making it very difficult to maintain a settled side and giving head coach Lee Parry plenty to think about in his first season in charge.
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'We enter the second half of the season confident of the squad's ability to perform at the high levels achieved when we have produced our best performances. We need a big game from everyone involved to help Robbie and all the players to finish the year on a high.'
Norwich will have a point to prove on Saturday afternoon, having been beaten 17-14 with the last play of the game when the two sides met at Beeston Hyrne in September.
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With Norwich fifth in the table and Southwold seventh, and both having won last week, things could not be better set for the final game of 2018.
Norwich will field several front line players who were unavailable for the home fixture, with Mike Lawton, Dave Micklethwaite and Jonty Newton all being absent last time.
In London 3EC leaders Holt start their return fixtures with the visit of Wisbech (2pm) who they narrowly defeated earlier in the season.
Wymondham, five points adrift in second place, have an attractive looking home match against neighbours Crusaders, who despite being third from bottom have being playing some good rugby of late. In other matches West Norfolk travel to Ely and Thetford visit Thurston.
Lakenham Ladies were beaten 60-5 at home by league leaders Bury St Edmunds in their final game of 2018.
The Lionesses battled bravely against a strong side but had only a second-half try from Chloe Halliwell to show for their efforts.
Lakenham went close in the first half when new hooker Teki Maeva made a successful strike for the ball which was picked up by Dani Pluckrose, but the No 8 was stopped short of the line.
Bury led 28-0 at the break and continued to pile up the points in the second half.
But their scoring run was interrupted when Charlotte Richardson forced them on to the backfoot and the ball was picked up by Halliwell, who managed to push her way over the line out wide.
It was full-back Olivia Neill's final game before returning home to New Zealand to continue her studies while second row Josi Howl played for last time before travelling to work in Africa for up to six months. The team trains at Hilltops, Swardeston on Thursday evenings from 7pm.