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Match Report

Norwich 6 Harpenden 20

03/10/2021

Norwich 6 Harpenden 20

Autumn had certainly arrived at Beeston Hyrne as strong winds and heavy rain greeted the teams at kick off. Norwich did not get the best of starts and consecutive penalties led to a lineout close to the Norwich line. The initial drive was halted but after some good recycling work by Harpenden Michael Goode crashed over for an unconverted try.

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From the restart Norwich reclaimed the ball and some good carries from Chris Drohan and Phil Buckley took them into the oppositions half, however the weather was to play its hand and a dropped ball allowed Harpenden to clear their lines. A penalty then allowed Harpenden to extend their lead courtesy of Ollie Mann.

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This seemed to galvanize Norwich and some good line breaks by Jonny Wheater and Jake Wharton brought them right back into the game, this forced Harpenden into a succession of penalties. Theo Elliot made light of the conditions and coolly slotted two difficult kicks to bring Norwich back into the game at 13-6.

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Just on the stroke of half time Harpenden worked the ball upfield and the impressive prop Jevaughn Warren drove over for the try.
Norwich turned round to play into an increasingly strong wind, which made clearing the ball very difficult.

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Adam Huggins entered the game as a replacement after a long injury lay off and was soon back to his usual self with some strong ball carries. Norwich soon found themselves in a series of defensive situations with Harpenden hammering away at their line but strong work from Matt Selby, Dave Micklethwaite and George King held them at bay.

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The pressure seemed to have been relieved with another strong break from Jonny Wheater but the last passed was missed enabling Harpenden to counterattack, an excellent cover tackle from Ollie Emanuel saving the day. However from the ensuing ruck Jevaughn Warren drove over for his second try of the day which was converted by Ollie Mann for the last score of the day.  

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Norwich will take a lot of positives from the match, it was a much improved performance against a big, well organized and talented opposition featuring several Saracens Academy players.

Report – David Bailey          

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