Norwich 22 Stowmarket 41
A minute silence was observed in memory of former Norwich & RFU President John Alston
It is a long time since Norwich conceded over 40 points at home but at the end of the day they can have no complaint. Stowmarket were level on points in the league despite having lost one more game than Norwich thanks to scoring 4 more bonus points and judging by the way they played it soon became apparent how this had been achieved. For the neutral this was a cracking game to watch but for Norwich supporters it was at times painful.
Norwich started very brightly and in the second minute scored a great try after Will Rist had made a telling break and fed right wing Dan Coltman who touched down wide out. Jay O’Brien could not convert.
This seemed to matter little at the time as Norwich seemed to be in control but the visitors had other ideas. Recycling quick ball they created space out wide for left winger Dan Garrard to score half way out.Full back Tom Searles could not add the conversion points but Norwich had clear notice that the visitors meant business.
Norwich responded with a sustained period of pressure from which Rist crashed over to recover the lead. O’Brien added the conversion but instead of grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck Norwich allowed their opponents back into the game.
Norwich’s first time tackling which has not often let them down this season was not good enough and it was no surprise when Garrard cantered over for his second try after Norwich had lost possession at a lineout on their own 22. Searles succeeded with the conversion which meant that as half time approached the scores were level. Just when they needed to steady the ship Norwich conceded a soft try scored by hooker Jack Hayward. Searles failed with the conversion to leave the visitors leading by 17 points to 12 at the break.
Norwich started the second half in the worst possible manner conceding a try after 5 minutes scored by centre Stuart Hill who went over under the posts for Searles to add the easy conversion. Norwich immediately responded by putting their opponents under pressure and after the visitors had conceded several penalties near their own line from each of which Norwich decided to opt for a scrum No 8 Simon Darby crashed over to reduce the arrears but the conversion was missed.
With the game entering the last quarter Norwich were trying to play catch up always a dangerous game and in doing so handed Garrard his hat trick after some sloppy defence. The conversion was missed but Norwich had a mountain to climb.
Despite a lot of pressure on their opponents line it seemed they were destined not to score but shortly after the visitors’no 8 Chris Wilson was yellow carded Darby went over to give Norwich a glimmer of hope. The conversion was missed and the game was wrapped up for the visitors by 2 late tries by Hayward one of which was converted to give them a victory they thoroughly deserved .