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1st XV - Match centre

Norwich Union
Cambridge Adventurers
Sat 24 Mar 15:00 - Eastern Counties Greene King League - Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One Plate Full time

Union continue their wining streak

With an impressive victory over a strong Cambridge 3s side

Match Report: Gareth Davis

With the old boys in attendance following their lunch, and after the seconds had put up a great showing against Fakenham 2, the 1st XV took the field for an expected tough encounter with Cambridge.

With a smattering of changes due to injuries and holiday, Union were still able to put out a strong side. From kick off by man of match Adrien Marie-Francoise, we seized the loose ball and made our way to the 22. A driven line out and well-rehearsed drill saw Ben Bond-webster the usual beneficiary, dotting down as Marie-Francoise converted the first of his four successful kicks at goal.

Despite early warnings of Cambridge attacking intent, Union were unable to prevent two tries as their speedy backs got the better of us. Union regained the lead as Graham Hunt pilfered a try from Number 8 Jon Spicker as a dominant scrum, spearheaded by Michel Shucksmith, Chris Spence and Bond-Webster proved too much for the visitor’s pack. The returning Craig Dunbar powered through the Cambridge defence for a score following his long absence from the squad. A welcome return as he slotted in seamlessly and provided front-foot ball for Union.

The half-time talk centred on Union’s defensive discipline and getting the power game going. Centres Ryan Day and Jordan improved defence, ably supported by the back three saw renewed belief in the team. Some outstanding handling from backs and forwards resulted in tries for Simon Pitcher on the wing and Tom Easton get in on the act as he finished off some great passages of play from the guys.
Sandwiched in between was an opportunistic try from Hunt who spotted the gap and romped home from a quickly taken tap penalty. Union conceded late tries as Cambridge spirited play went rewarded with their elusive winger twice touching down wide out.

Tour fatigue played it's part and injuries caught up with Union. Both Spencely brothers looking especially battle scarred. The outstanding Jake Rodwell too gave us the defensive glue which enabled our runners to really step up today. Two tries came from ball moving across the full width of the pitch three times, well appreciated by our club stalwarts watching on.

After the game Coach Gareth Davis said “Thoughts turn to back to back games with Cottenham where these games will decide finishing positions in the league. Union need availability early to get the squad organised. Five cup finals until the season end, where will take stock of progress made. Let's finish well guys”

And in his role as President went on to say “Finally, please support the president game on 28th April Vs Wendens Ambo. Food will be available for the old boys, with the plan being giving all who are available a run out in this game. Also, Steve Knights is hosting a pre-match lunch prior to the home Cottenham game on the 7th April, so try and support if you can guys, the support certainly is much appreciated by all. Ty hanks everyone again, from the Blundells to caterers and volunteers getting on with putting our history packed club firmly on the Norfolk rugby scene”

Team: Chris Spenceley, Ben Bond-Webster, Michael Shucksmith, Matt Gyton, Steffan Harwood, Matt Spenceley, Jake Rodwell, Jon Spicker, Graham Hunt, Adrien Marie-Francoise, Shaun Lohan, Jordan Read, Ryan Day, Tom Easton, Daniel Norgate Replacements: Simon Pitcher, Craig Dunbar, Jack Cottingham

Scorers: Ben Bond-Webster 1T, Craig Dunbar 1T, Simon Pitcher 1T, Graham Hunt 2T, Tom Easton 1T
Adrien Marie-Francoise 4C from 6 attempts Man of the match Adrien Marie-Francoise

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: 1x1 rip

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One Plate results

Diss II (Saracens)
Ipswich Magpies
Cottenham Renegades


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Norwich Union 10 43
2. Diss II (Saracens) 10 29
3. Colchester III 10 24
4. Cottenham Renegades 10 21
5. Ipswich Magpies 10 18
6. Cambridge Adventurers 10 17

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