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Match Report

Norwich 12 Woodford 26

09/02/2019

Norwich 12 Woodford 26

Whilst the 12:26 final scoreline flattered Woodford greatly, with two tries in the last 10 minutes, the defeat was entirely down to Norwich’s poor game management in the second half and their discipline, spending a quarter of the game with only 14 men.

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A Norwich side, depleted of key personnel, kicked off into the 50 mph wind. They had the perfect start, patiently building through the phases, recycling the ball in the first 4 minutes, and Dave Micklethwaite, playing at 12, scored a try to the left of the posts, that Mike Lawton converted.

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Norwich’s excellent defence forced a penalty for hanging onto the ball and Lawton had an opportunity to add the points from 25 metres out but it slid past the outside of the post in the strong wind.

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Woodford started to exert pressure, using the wind well and Norwich started conceding penalties in their defensive efforts. As a result of this pressure, Woodford scored a try underneath the posts, running unopposed through an uncharacteristic gap in the Norwich defence. The try was converted.

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The Norwich penalties continued to mount as Woodford pinned them back earning a warning from referee Ian Hartley. The next penalty was awarded against Pip Scott at a ruck and he was given a yellow card.

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Woodford took the opportunity of the extra man to run in a try down the right wing. This was converted to give them a 7:14 lead.

Scott returned to the field with 6 minutes to go in the half and a Norwich penalty to the corner set up a driving maul and Josh Wilson squeezed in to score 15 metres in from the left touch. Lawton could not land the conversion into the wind and Norwich held Woodford out until half time with the score at 12:14.

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With the strength of the wind, Norwich should have controlled the second half with ease. Norwich’s game management in the second half was non-existent and the obvious wind advantage was not used.

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Play was generally in the Woodford half but Norwich could not control the ball long enough to make the possession or territory count. They were guilty of trying to force the play, in sharp contrast to their patience in the first half. Norwich looked like another try was guaranteed when a break through the Woodford line by Dave Micklethwaite was offloaded but the pass was dropped in sight of the posts.

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Shortly afterwards, Lawton had the opportunity to narrow the gap from a penalty at the edge of his range from the 10 metre line, but it fell just short. Both sides were warned about the rising penalty count and with 12 minutes left, Jake Wharton will consider himself very unlucky to have been adjudged as obstructing, and shown a yellow card.

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Being reduced to 14 men, signalled Norwich’s collapse as a poor pass was intercepted, gifting Woodford a try wide out on the right.

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Woodford wrapped the game up when a turnover allowed them to stretch the reduced Norwich cover and score another try, which was converted. Restored to 15 for the final two minutes, Norwich mounted one last attack but the game ended 12:26.

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Many thanks to our Mascot for the day from our Under 8's. Top job!

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