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1st XV - Match centre

Norwich Union
Sat 23 Sep 15:00 - Eastern Counties Greene King League - Eastern Counties Greene King Division One North Full time

Union start well, but are out-scored by a classy Fakenham team

In an entertaining try fest at Barkers lane

Match Report : Gareth Davis

A Barkers lane try fest occurred when high flying Fakenham rocked up for an eagerly awaited clash with Norwich Union.
Union started really well, unlike the previous week when they were still in the changing rooms at the start of the game.

The first try came from blind-side flanker Craig Dunbar who scored a trademark bulldozing try following an initial burst from the returning Matt Cook in the centres, which was duly converted by Lloyd Davis.

A series of penalties eventually resulted in a Fakenham try following the first example of their offloading and slick handling style. Jake Rodwell the first of many to fall foul of the referee, with backchat certainly not helping our cause a problem that persisted throughout the game culminating in a penalty count of 17 for Union to 5 of Fakenham, which is something Union need to address quickly if they are to remain competitive in the future.

There were signs of what was to come, but Union stuck to their less cultured, but powerful style of play, with Dunbar again barrelling over for his and Union’s second try, following great thrusts made by the impressive Union tight five.
Fakenham came back with two classy tries, as the game continued in a loose and fiery fashion. Newcomer Oli Ward powered over again to reduce the deficit in the Fakenham defences following carries from Captain Simon Pitcher, Michael Shucksmith and Matt Gyton. Lloyd Davis adding the extras.

At Half time with Union trailing Phil Harris and John Madden joined the fray, putting in solid shifts and allowing some rest for our forwards.
The second half saw Fakenham change their tactics subtly moved the ball away from contact faster and stopped trying to take Union on up front. Clever use of their excellent left wing on a simple loop move saw Fakenham gain two more tries to stretch their lead.

Fresh impetus saw the return of our driving and carrying game. Ben Bond-Webster the beneficiary of some well organised mauls which saw a bonus point try scored. Union were still in the game right to the end and pushed for the extra bonus losing bonus point. Alas, another backs break-out from Fakenham saw them gain the last try of the match to snuff out any chance of a second bonus point from the game for Union.

After the game Coach Gareth Davis said “It was an entertaining game which I think again highlights lessons learnt from the Beccles game. We mauled, rucked and carried better throughout the side. We may play worse and get a result, but move on to Great Yarmouth-Broadland next week, where another tough test awaits. Congratulations to the Osteostasis MoM Oli Ward and the deserved debutantes David Sheldon-Smillie getting their club ties. We go again next week looking to continue the solid progress we have made over the last 18 months. hard work and developing more to our game will come in time. Thanks to Fakenham for the tough lesson and look forward to the return.”

Team: Michael Shucksmith, Ben Bond-Webster, Simon Pitcher(capt), Matt Gyton, Matt Spenceley, Craig Dunbar, Jake Rodwell, John Spicker, Jake Clarke, Oli Ward, Matthew Cook, David Sheldon-Smillie, Daniel Norgate, Graham Hunt Replacements: John Madden, Phil Harris, Peter Sparks

Scorers: Craig Dunbar 2T, Oli Ward 1T, Ben Bond-Webster 2T, Lloyd Davis 2C, Graham Hunt 1C

Osteostasis Man of the Match Oli Ward

NURFC 1st XV face Great Yarmouth-Broadland away next week, the Firebirds entertain Beccles 2s at home, both games kick off at 3pm

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Eastern Counties Greene King Division One North results


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Fakenham 14 70
2. North Walsham II (Raiders) 14 53
3. Norwich Union 14 46
4. Diss II (Saracens) 14 44
5. Norwich Medics 14 28
6. Beccles 14 24
7. Swaffham 14 17

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