Upminster 19, Norwich 28

Norwich signed off their season with a hard-fought win at Upminster to secure a fourth place finish.

The game may have been a dead rubber, with only final league positions to fight over, but neither team saw it that way and fought fiercely as if promotion was at stake.

The manner of Norwich's win will give them heart for next season because they had to earn this one through sheer hard work and determination. The game saw the final appearances of University placement Tom Williams and French student Yannick Pousse, who have both made a big impact.

Upminster played with the advantage of the significant slope in the first half and went ahead with an unconvered try in the corner before Jonny O'Brien reduced the arrears with a penalty.

The hosts twice scored penalties in front of the posts to stretch their lead but then Norwich hit back from a line-out, Jonny Coltman diving down at the back of a rolling maul to score. O'Brien kicked the conversion to bring Norwich to within one point before a home penalty made it 14-10 at the break.


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Following a scrappy spell at the start of the second half Norwich compiled their best move of the game in which they kept recycling the ball before spreading it wide to Jordi Walker, who had enough pace and strength to beat the cover and score a try, converted by O'Brien.

From another lineout on five metres Norwich chose to shorten the numbers and Ives threw long over the top, clearing everyone before bouncing up nicely for Walker to gratefully collect it and score his second try of the afternoon. Pousse, who had replaced O'Brien, added the points.

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Upminster were far from spent and their pressure eventually told when the Norwich line was breached by the home No 8, spinning out of a tackle to score. The kick was missed, making it 19-22 with 10 minutes remaining.

The tension was eased somewhat when Pousse kicked a penalty from 15 metres out. Norwich did not allow Upminster to launch a final attack and having forced play back into their half Norwich were awarded a penalty on 10 metres. With time up on the clock Pousse's sublime kick sailed through the uprights.

The result left Norwich fourth in the league, just one point behind Harlow.

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