West Norfolk’s unbeaten sequence ended by home defeat

West Norfolk’s five-game game unbeaten run was ended on Saturday by a physical Southwold side who returned home with a 29-18 win.

The visitors have provided formidable opposition in recent years, resulting in some close and hard-fought encounters, and this clash proved no different.

West Norfolk head coach Darren Clarke said: “Firstly congratulations to Southwold on an excellent victory.

West Norfolk man-of-the-match Lewis Rudd. Picture: Roz Bridges
West Norfolk man-of-the-match Lewis Rudd. Picture: Roz Bridges

“They executed their game plan well, capitalised on any mistake and were worthy winners in the end.

“For us, we battled hard and played some really good rugby in parts, especially in the first half.

“Unfortunately we were not clinical enough in the final third and either individual errors or poor decisions cost us points.

“We can take plenty of positives from the game and this defeat will make us stronger as the season progresses. We now have two consecutive away games so full commitment will be the key.”

West welcomed back a number of players to the side following their win last week on the road to Ipswich YM with Nic Bull, Chin Newton-Walters and Lewis Stewart returning to the forward pack.

The backs saw George Lemon and Quinton Houston return whilst captain Jack Wicks started at fly-half, replacing the injured Sam Moses.

An early barrage from No 8 James Dobbler forced Southwold into conceding an early penalty which Hayden Revell confidently kicked through the uprights.

West Norfolk's Jack Wicks. Picture: Roz Bridges
West Norfolk’s Jack Wicks. Picture: Roz Bridges

The home side produced some champagne rugby in the early stages and Joe Lewis-Mitchell came close to going over for a try following a kick from Wicks.

West Norfolk then conceded a penalty.

A quick tap would see the ball spun wide for the Southwold winger to sprint around the outside of a scramble West defence to score in the corner giving the visitors a two-point lead.

A maul on the visitors 22-metre line saw Nic Bull gain metres on the try line before spinning the ball to Wicks and used his neat footwork to dot down to the right of the posts.

Shortly after, West retained the ball at the scrum with Revell this time popping to full-back Quinton Houston, who stepped his way over the line to give West an eight-point lead (13-5) going into half-time.

Southwold began their match-winning surge starting with a try for their hooker who, after two missed tackles, ran in unchallenged under the posts.

A kick for touch following a penalty at the lineout would set a platform for the Southwold forwards to pick and drive eventually forcing their way over the line to extend their lead further.

A smart break by Lewis Rudd then offloading to Lewis Stewart would give West a glimmer of hope only to be thwarted by a last-ditch Southwold tackle.

A penalty and a controversial final try completed Southwold’s scoring for the afternoon.

Taking matters into his own hands, West Norfolk’s Dobbler used his size and strength to eventually crash over from short range for another five points but the late resurgence was not enough to get a losing bonus point.

Adrian Flux Man-of-the-Match: Lewis Rudd (sponsored by Rae Rudd Ltd).