Stowmarket 24, Norwich 19
For their second-half performance alone Norwich deserved to win at Stowmarket on Saturday.
They had fallen behind in the first half thanks to a couple of knock-ons which were ignored, leading to the opening score. The first try by the home side came after 13 minutes and until then the sides looked evenly matched with the home backs looking dangerous when they had the ball, but with the Norwich forwards having the edge up front.
A sliced Norwich clearance kick was knocked on by the Stowmarket full back and with play being allowed to continue the ball was moved left to centre Tom Sells who also knocked on but was allowed to pick up and put scrum half Joe Fifield in under the posts. The try was converted by Sells.
This might have taken the stuffing out of Norwich but they battled on and were unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions. A couple of penalty chances to kick at goal were turned down in favour of kicking for the corner when taking the chance for points might have been a better option.
As it was, with 10 minutes of the half left Norwich conceded a further score when they made a hash of dealing with a Stowmarket penalty. The ball went loose just outside the Norwich 22 and No 8 Colin Clark picked up the ball and was allowed to trundle down the touchline to score in the corner. Just when the Norwich supporters were feeling that two scores down at half-time would not be too much to overcome their side managed to concede two tries in the 42nd and 44th minutes through right wing Jermaine Watson, which was well taken, and left wing Dan Garrad, which came from some shoddy defence. Garrad's try was converted to give the home side a 24-point lead.
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Soon after half-time Norwich got on the scoresheet with a try from a rolling maul touched down by Dave Micklethwaite. Right wing Yannick Posse could not convert the score.
At this stage Jordy Walker replaced full-back Jay O'Brien which meant that skipper Jonny Wheater went to full-back with Walker taking his place in the centre. Norwich began to dominate territorially and went close to reducing the arrears on a number of occasions. The front five were magnificent and putting their opposite numbers under great pressure in the tight.
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They were rewarded with a try from Walker who ran a superb line to score near the posts which Pousse converted. The home support were getting seriously concerned and Norwich scored again when flanker David Micklethwaite finished off a great break by Wheater to go over under the posts. Pousse added the conversion to finish off a highly entertaining game and a great second half for Norwich.