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Firebirds (2nd XV) - Match centre

Norwich Union II
Fakenham II
Sat 24 Mar 15:00 - Eastern Counties Greene King League - Eastern Counties Greene King Division Three North Full time

Firebirds start brightly, but ultimately succumb

To a fit and well drilled Fakenham 2s team

Match Report: Russ Clarke

Despite last minute call-ups to the 1st team and late cancellations the Firebirds still managed to field a full team with a couple of extras thanks to loan players from both Lakenham and Great Yarmouth-Broadland.

The game started at frenetic pace, with both sides trying to run the ball, but neither giving quarter to the other. It was some time before the scoreboard was troubled, which was by way of a try from Otis Hernandez who ran a great support line of his fellow centre Nick Roberts who ran at the gap between the opposition centres, cleverly freeing his hands to put Hernandez away for the try.

Shortly after this Captain Russ Clarke left the field with injury which resulted in a number of positional changes. Despite this the Firebirds put together some great play, the experience of Mark Ferguson, Richard Ross and Mike Smyth to the fore slowing the game down to a pace better suited to the Firebirds with some typical Norwich Union driving mauls.

The away team’s youth and fitness was ultimately the downfall of the Firebirds as their relentless attacks began to make holes in the Firebirds defence with the visitors taking a 5-12 lead at half time.

The second Firebirds try came from man of the match Jack Cottingham who scored his long awaited first try, supporting the effervescent Jay Pollard who stepped in to role of 9 and who made a break from a scrum 15m out offloading to Cottingham who raced to the line. The visitors weren’t finished however and scored further tries to rack up a total of 31 points.
Cottingham pipped Nathaniel Einecker to the MoM award, who had an excellent debut in the front row for the Firebirds putting in a creditable performance for his first game for the club.

The Firebirds final score came from a series of pick and goes before the ball was popped out to fullback Dale Blackburn who scored in the last play of the game.

After the game Captain Russ Clarke said “despite the loss it was great to see both teams play with smiles on their faces in what was a thrilling encounter played without a crossed word and in the true spirit of grass roots Rugby”
The Firebirds last remaining league game of the season is at home to Holt 3s on 14th April, followed two weeks after by the President’s game against Wendens Ambo on the 28th April.

Team: Ash Senior, Joe Brydon, Nathaniel Einecker, Adam Vincent, Richard Ross, Mike Smyth, Mark Feguson, Russ Clarke, Jay Pollard, Jack Cottingham, Nick Roberts, Otis Hernandez, Mike Freeman-Pannett, Dale Blackburn Replacements: Richard Rodda, Emile Nieuwoudt, Rob Savage

Scorers: Otis Hernandez 1T, Dale Blackburn 1T, Jack Cottingham 1T man of the match Jack Cottingham

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC

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League round up

Other Eastern Counties Greene King Division Three North results


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
5. Fakenham II 20 43
6. Crusaders II 20 40
7. Wymondham III 20 37
8. Norwich Union II 19 18
9. Norwich Medics 2nd XV 19 -3
10. North Walsham III (Warriors) 20 -28
11. Beccles II 20 -48

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