Wonderful win for Wymondham
Wymondham 17, Canvey Island 5Consistency is what wins games and Wymondham have had very little so far - but if the manner of their win on Saturday can be reproduced week on week, it could lead to a promotion push.
Wymondham 17, Canvey Island 5
Consistency is what wins games and Wymondham have had very little so far - but if the manner of their win on Saturday can be reproduced week on week, it could lead to a promotion push.
High-flying Canvey Island came to Tuttles Lane having not conceded a try away from home and with the best defensive record in the league.
But the hosts began the game driving into the Canvey side with such ferocity that, while conceding two quick penalties, set their stamp on the game and gave fair warning to Canvey that they would need to fight tooth and nail to preserve their unbeaten record.
Debutant and man of the match Chris Brown (pictured) was a continual thorn in the side of Canvey, preventing any cohesive moves being created.
Wymondham's defence, following Brown's lead, aggressively drove the Islanders, back starving them of any decent opportunity.
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Unfortunately Wymondham continued with their unforced errors, with the final pass going astray on several occasions, leaving the scoreline level until the half-hour.
Wymondham finally got the better of the Canvey defence. Al Turner picked up from the base of a scrum and released Kit Wapshott whose back- handed reverse pass found Gavin Shephard, who beat two players to score. Tom Wilson gave Wymondham a deserved seven-point lead.
Canvey then came alive, putting Wymondham under severe pressure but the home defence not only held solid but drove Canvey back and then Wilson notched a 45m penalty just before half- time to make it 10-0.
The Islanders began the second half in similar fashion as they searched to close the gap with the hosts defending fiercely, but not without casualties as Wilson and Brown suffered cuts and had to leave for repairs.
Injuries to Jonathan Coltman and Jim Kelly forced a reshuffle, giving a debut to John Gill and allowing Gareth Clifford to take his place in the scrum.
The latter had an instant impact when Wymondham forced a five-metre scrum and the powerful pack drove Canvey back, allowing Al Turner to score his first league try for the club.
Canvey mounted an attack that finally breached the resolute defence when Steve Hassan went over in the corner.
Wymondham U14 26, Ipswich U14 33
IN a fast tempo game, it soon became apparent that the visitors were a well-drilled side who wanted to play open rugby. After a period of even play, some loose tackling allowed Ipswich to slice through for a converted try.
Undaunted, Wymondham fought their way back down into the Ipswich 22, where Goodwin bundled over for a try, converted by Rix. This seemed to spur the visitors into action and some strong forward play led to two further tries in quick succession, both converted.
The hosts then reduced the arrears with a second try for Goodwin, Rix narrowly failing to convert.
Starting the second half two scores behind, Wymondham knew that it would take a huge effort to turn the game round, but reduced the arrears when a cross-kick from Rix was gathered by Hadley, who touched down in the corner, Rix converting magnificently.
A lapse in concentration saw the visitors score an unconverted try to restore their advantage, but still Wymondham refused to give in and a second try for Hadley, again converted by Rix, brought the scores level.
At this stage Ipswich were still looking the most likely to find a winning score, and so it proved, as despite some fine defence from Wymondham, the visitors managed to find a way through for a converted try which proved decisive.
In a pulsating and breathless finale, Wymondham went close to scoring in the corner, but the visitors held out for a narrow, but deserved, and highly entertaining victory.
This match was a huge step up from the opening game of the season in terms of pace and intensity, with both sides seeking to play attractive rugby throughout, leading to an exciting and absorbing match which could ultimately have gone either way.
Wymondham Minis had a fantastic day at the West Norfolk Rugby Festival.
The U7, U8, U9, U10 and U11 sides all won in their age groups. The U12 side was knocked out in the semi-final by Holt, a strong team who deservedly went on to win their age group.
The club is going from strength to strength and this is the first time they have come home with five trophies from a festival - a proud day.
Congratulations to the coaches whose efforts have been rewarded by these good results.
Well done to all the players who took part and thank you to the parents and carers for their commitment.
West Norfolk RFC should be commended for this enjoyable event.