Saffron Waldon 37, Lowestoft & Yarmouth 39
ThIs was a near repeat of the see-saw fixture at the end of last season, with Lowestoft and Yarmouth this time sneaking away with the London 2NE points.
In the warm sunshine, both teams played positive rugby from the outset and after 10 minutes L&Y fly-half Dave Tiueti found the breakthrough after a couple of Tom Port charges down the right to score under the posts and convert.
Saffron replied with a couple of tries, one of which was converted, to take the lead only for L&Y to go back in front again through Tiueti following a great build-up involving captain Scott Nelson, Chris Howe, Myles McAlone and Brad Sutherland. The two sides then traded penalties, Tieuti scoring for L&Y, before Saffron crossed again for a three-point lead at the break.
Five minutes into the second period Nelson broke blind and two slick unloads by himself and Russ Chapman put Sutherland in space and the big fullback bustled through to score. Hughes scored a lovely solo try under the posts for the hosts before Sutherland burst upfield and while big wing Matt Howell attracted the defenders, 17-year-old speedster Tyler Beales sneaked up to take the offload and swerve under the posts for his first league try.
Tiueti converted but once again Saffron hit back with another individual try from Hughes under the posts. Unbelievably the see-sawing continued when Sutherland finished off a fine try after some good handling involving Russ Wilkinson, Steve Adams and Steve Powles and Saffron replied in the left corner.
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It was at this point that L&Y might have caved in, but they had the final word as McAlone put Cashman through in space and from the breakdown, Chapman and Sutherland worked space for Beales to scorch into the corner for the final score.
Head coach and captain Scott Nelson was ecstatic after the game, saying: 'We're delighted with a five-point win away to start the season. It proves that despite having a much changed team we can still play a bit of quality rugby when we get the ball in our hands.'
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