Perfect platform for Holt

Holt 22, Norwich 14: Holt made it 12 London 3NE wins out of 12 by completing a double over third-placed Norwich following a 25-5 win at Beeston Hyrne in September.

The result extended Holt's lead at the top of the table to ten points after closest rivals Harlow were held to a home draw by Wanstead.

The game could hardly have started worse for Norwich, who lost influential lock Tom Lloyd with ankle ligament damage in the first minute.

The subsequent re-organisation seemed to unnerve Norwich, who struggled to attain anything like the consistency of play their supporters had witnessed in previous weeks.

Holt, coached by former Norwich player Ed Steed were out of the blocks quickly, putting pressure upon Norwich at every opportunity and preventing them from establishing any rhythm.

The only glimmers of hope for visiting supporters seemed to be the powerful midfield running of centre Ewan Wilson, combined with intelligent forward play from the back row.

Fly half and captain Jonny Wheater looked dangerous ball in hand, but on too many occasions the Norwich ball carrier found himself isolated.

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The home side took the lead after 18 minutes when, from a scrum, the ball was fed wide for Stuart Robson to finish off the move in the corner for an unconverted try.

A second try soon followed when Holt won a line-out and, from a well executed driving maul into the Norwich 22, released the ball wide for Jarry-Ryan to score. Tim Allen converted to make it 12-0.

Holt then had to contain a determined Norwich response, and despite losing a player to the sin bin, they finished the half with two more tries. The first was scored by Jarry-Ryan, the second by Rumsby following an excellent cross kick by Young to the left corner – this earning a bonus point for a 22-0 interval lead.

The second half had hardly got going before the home side received a set back in the form of a red card for Karl Knight.

They also faced a Norwich side roused by their half-time talk into a far more combative second period – though Norwich also had 10 minutes down to 14 men when John Snowling was sent to the sin bin.

Norwich showed good handling skills and some dynamic play against the 14 men. And, on the hour, they took full advantage when Holt made a mess of an intelligent box kick by scrum half Josh Ives, allowing flanker Matt Cartwright to show good footballing skills to score under the posts and narrow the deficit.

This seemed to spur Norwich on and they enjoyed their brightest spell with Wilson adding welcome penetration to the midfield attack and Dave Micklethwaite increasingly influential around the base of the ruck.

The deficit was further reduced when an outstanding piece of individual skill saw Leake burst through the Holt defence, carrying three or four tacklers with him to crash over under the posts. The try was converted by Jonny O'Brien and Norwich appeared galvanised.

That's where the scoring finished, however, and Holt comfortably held out to complete their first double of the season.

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