Norwich take the honours in derby

Norwich 21, Wymondham 12: Norwich came out on top in the first league meeting between the two sides to gain their first London 3NE win of the season at the third attempt.

It was Norwich, playing into the stiff breeze, who were first out of the blocks however. Forcing a penalty on the Wymondham 22 they opted to kick for touch and from the ensuing lineout No 8 Ross Adnitt rumbled over to score Norwich's first try. Rob Mickelthwaite could not land the difficult conversion.

Norwich fluffed dealing with the restart and spent the next 10 minutes frantically defending. The visitors created a couple of scoring chances which, with the ball like a lump of soap, they spurned. Norwich defended solidly, with the back row – where flanker Paul Mickelthwaite was outstanding – and the half-backs putting in some big tackles .

However the Wymondham pressure told and it was no surprise when they were awarded a penalty which full-back James Wyatt converted. Five minutes later he kicked another more difficult one to give Wymondham the lead which, on the run of play, they deserved.

The Norwich cause was not helped when flanker Freddie Cook was yellow carded for hanging on to the ball on the ground.

Norwich were relieved at the half- time whistle to be only one point adrift, knowing that the wind was in their favour in the second half.However it was Wymondham who opened the scoring immediately after the interval when Wyatt kicked another penalty.

This turned out to be the spur that Norwich badly needed. Josh Ives at scrum-half sometimes tries to do too much on his own but his magnificent break from a line-out just inside the Wymondham half led to Norwich's second try. The ball was moved wide and again the ball was kept alive for Paul Mickelthwaite to canter in under the posts, giving his brother Rob an easy conversion to put Norwich 12-9 ahead.

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Among Norwich's problems last season was the inability to kick crucial penalties. On Saturday Rob Mickelthwaite kicked three consecutive penalties to give Norwich a cushion that they badly needed.

Wymondham hit back but again the Norwich defence held firm. From a situation under their own posts Norwich should have got the ball off the park but they chose to take the ball on . From the ensuing ruck Andy Warnes, playing at prop, was judged to have used his knees on a defender on the ground and was sent off. Wyatt kicked the easy penalty to reduce the arrears.

Norwich had the opportunity to wrap the game up with minutes to go but this time man of the match Rob Mickelthwaite was unsuccessful with the penalty attempt.

After losing their first two games this was a win Norwich needed and which at the end of the day they deserved for their performance in the second half, with sensible positional kicking in the difficult conditions.