Beccles played Thetford in their first action of pre-season. They gave a good account of themselves against a thetford team that has been a mainstay fixture in London North 3 for multiple years.
After a great season last year, that finished in being named league champions and getting promotion. The 'goal posts' quickly moved and everybody was soon making preperations for the upcoming season, with the purpose being to stay afloat and hopefully finish mid table in the new league.
The game was planned to be spread out into five bouts of twenty minute parts. Giving the players plenty of recovery for what was both sides first run out of the new season. However, the game was quickly shortened to four twenty minute quaters due to the heat on saturday. No converstions were taken neither as discussed by the teams prior, with the emphises being 'working on gameplay'.
Beccles kicked off, Thetford gathered, set up a ruck and decided to go wide. They were able to break through the line and then nice supporting play meant that they were already a try up after a seventy meter break with only forty seconds of play being played. With this shockingly fast start, Beccles could of well dropped there heads, instead they rallied together.
Strong carrying meant that Beccles were able to build a platform to work off. But good tackling from both sides and a fierce competitivness at the breakdowns meant that any territorial progress was slow to get. Beccles found space out wide and with good hands and communication, Ollie Larkworthy was able to recieve the ball on the wing and by rekindling his youth; was able to use some handy speed and footwork to beat the winger and fullback. Touching it down for Beccles' first of the day.
It didn't take long for the second to be added, opposite winger Tom harrison was able to hand off a couple of would-be defenders and finish strong to put Beccles ahead in the match.
The first quater ended with Beccles being 10-5 up. The teams were heavly mixed around with only a handful of players staying on to start the second quarter. The new players found it difficult to get into the already established rhythm of the game, conceededing a try after five minutes. They were able to battle back and the quarter ended up finishing15-5 to Thetford.
The third quater came and went 0-0 meaning that it was 20-15 to Thetford going into the last quarter.
Beccles came close to scoring again on multiple occasions but ball retention became a problem. With five minutes to go, Thetford were able to get a try off of a pick and go scrum move that could of well been thwarted. The game opened up into an exciting back and forth contest in the last few minutes. Though it was Thetford again who were able to come through and get a second try to wrap up the day. Finishing 30-15 to Thetford.
There were many positives to bring out of this game for both sides. Beccles' scrum looked very solid considering both the size and experiance disparatty. Yet Thetford were able to close out the game and finish strong. Both teams were strong around the breakdown though it could be down to lacluster support and at times poor decsion making that made turnovers so frequent. All in all Beccles would be happy after this performance. There's still room for improvement though and they have a week to build and reload before they play their second friendly against woodbridge(away) on the 31st August.
The first XV kick off their league campaign on the 14th September away to Ely.
If you fancy playing rugby this year whether experinaced or complete novice, Beccles fields two competetive teams, then come down to Training, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7pm until 8:30pm.