West claim crucial victory
West Norfolk 19, Wanstead 5: West Norfolk took a step towards mid-table safety when they picked up a crucial win at home to Wanstead on Saturday. The hosts were looking to utilise their fast back line and conditions were in their favour - the weather was cold, crisp and sunny, with the ground perfect for some free flowing rugby.
West Norfolk took a step towards mid-table safety when they picked up a crucial win at home to Wanstead on Saturday.
The hosts were looking to utilise their fast back line and conditions were in their favour - the weather was cold, crisp and sunny, with the ground perfect for some free flowing rugby.
West were able to boast a near full strength line up and, with Wanstead playing into the sun in the first half, were looking to spin the ball out wide from the off.
Within only a few minutes it was becoming evident that the visitors would struggle to contain West outside the pack as they came under immense pressure from the speedy trio of Trim, Singleton and Anderson. West were almost instantly rewarded for this ambitious play after a Trim break down the right. A quickly recycled ball saw an offload to Singleton, who cut in sharply to slice through the defence and touch down by the posts. Hogan coolly converted to make it 7-0 to West with barely five minutes played.
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To Wanstead's credit they responded admirably and, using their big forward pack, began to rumble the ball up into the West half with several close range crash balls from their number eight and centres. This set the pattern for the rest of the half with West looking threatening every time they attacked out wide, but with Wanstead in control at the scrums the visitors were managing to develop their own attacks around the flanks.
West were denied any further scores before the interval and it was Wanstead who had the last word of the half. After a series of powerful drives, they spun the ball out wide where their winger touched down in the corner, making it 7-5 at half time. West started the second half with Savage and Bridges coming on to help shore up the scrums.
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Once again, West struggled to capitalise on their possession and were unable to finish off some good phases of play when they threatened the Wanstead goal line.
After a period of sustained pressure, Wanstead gave way once more as they were unable to cope with the pace of Wests play. Another break from the back line saw Trim once again burst through, before setting Singleton free on another mazy run to score. Hogan converted to make it 14-5 to West.
Thurston was replaced by Evans at flanker, who made an immediate impact after gathering a loose line-out ball to bulldoze his way through the Wanstead defence, gaining many vital yards. The ball was spun out wide only for West to be denied just short of the line.
West's final score of the day came after a short range line-out attack. Savage gathered the ball from a tap down at the back from Cook, but was stopped just short of the line. Some aggressive rucking saw the ball recycled back to West forwards. Number eight Williamson, powered over the line to score from a close range driving maul.