RFU Intermediate Cup: Norwich 10 Fullerians 38
- Credit: Andy Micklethwaite
A below full-strength Norwich side bowed out of the Intermediate Cup when they were beaten by Fullerians, who play in the parallel London 2NW league.
In bitterly cold conditions the game got off to a scrappy start with both teams having difficulty in holding on to the ball.
The visitors had an opportunity to take the lead after 12 minutes but full-back Dan Evans missed the penalty from halfway out. It was Norwich who opened the scoring with an excellent try made by a lovely break from full-back Jay O'Brien followed by a scoring pass to right wing Martin Cullum who scored wide out. JC Brown could not manage the conversion.
The visitors came straight back and after Cullum was yellow carded for a high tackle were awarded a penalty try following an attempted push-over at a five-metre scummage. Evans added the conversion to put them in front.
Just as Cullum returned Fullerians' No 8 Ben Redler was also yellow-carded. While he was off the field Norwich enjoyed a period of superiority but could not convert this into points and the score at half-time remained 7-5 in the visitors' favour.
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Norwich replaced prop George Pope and hooker Archie Vickers at the interval, bringing on Craig Dunbar and Ravi Dave. Dave went to hooker and Stuart Seppings stepped into the front row, with Dunbar slotting in at No 8. Right at the start of the second half Seppings was helped off the field injured so Pope went on again.
Norwich must have been confident that they could grab the win in the second half with the conditions in their favour. However, Fullerians had other ideas and they swiftly sewed the game up with three tries in quick succession.
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Centre Miles Toone scored two of them, with his co-centre Liam Mann scoring the third. Evans converted the first two but took far too long taking the third and was prevented by the referee from doing so.
This left Norwich with a lot of work to do and to their credit they came back with a try by Laurence Austin which came after the hosts put their Watford-based visitors under pressure in their 22. The conversion was missed.
Fullerians wrapped the game up in the last 10 minutes with further tries by Mann converted by Evans and just before the final whistle by left wing Connor Head which Evans could not convert.
With nine regulars missing through injury and non-availability Norwich battled well but also know that some of their first-up tackling still needs work, ahead of a return to league action at South Woodham Ferrers on Saturday.