Norwich 46 Datchworth 17
Hertfordshire side Datchworth who play in London 3 North West did not have the best preparation for this Cup contest when 2 players and 2 coaches turned up half an hour after the scheduled kick off time of 2.30 pm. The match eventually started at 3-15 and not surprisingly it was Norwich who were first out of the blocks with an early try by left wing Dan Coltman who took his chance superbly. Rob Micklethwaite added the conversion. This seemed to wake up the visitors who immediately took the game to Norwich and were rewarded with a try by no 8 Henry Mountain after Norwich had coughed up the ball in a tackle under their own posts. Fly half Sam Brunton had no problem with the conversion to level the score.
Norwich had several new faces in their line up with youngster Jordy Walker making his debut in the centre alongside skipper Johnny Wheater playing out of position instead of his usual fly half slot where Rob Mickethwaite was playing. This experiment only partially worked and it was sometime before things settled down outside the scrum. However, up front Norwich soon claimed the ascendency both in the tight scrums and the lineout which functioned throughout superbly. It was no surprise when after 10 minutes Norwich scored a try from a rolling maul with flanker Simon Atkinson getting the touchdown. The try was not converted but Micklethwaite had kicked an earlier penalty to give Norwich the lead 15-7.
The visitors started to get back into the game and scored after 25 minutes after some inept handling by Norwich inside their own 22 with full back Joe Richardson going over for Brunton to add the easy conversion reducing the Norwich lead by a single point. Norwich however, were starting to make their supremacy up front count and from a great break from the base of the scrum by no 8 Craig Dunbar who was prominent the whole game, Dan Coltman scored his second try which Jay O’Brien converted. It was most unfortunate for the visitors that in this passage of play their flanker Adam Hinton suffered a broken leg and was carted off to hospital. This certainly disrupted Datchworth and just before half time having watched his brother score 2 tries John Coltman on the right wing ran in from some 75 metres to score near the posts but the conversion was missed to give Norwich a 13 point cushion at half time.
The second half was a stop start affair with several changes in personnel on both sides with Norwich bringing on impact player Dan Gronland on the wing who is built like a backrow forward but has serious pace as he soon demonstrated. Norwich were unable to score again until the 30th minute when full back O’Brien scored a wonderful individual try when he fielded a kick on his own 10 metre line and ran down the left hand touchline to score in the corner aided it has to be said by some indiffent defence. He even managed to convert his try from the touchline. Dan Coltman scored his third try moments later after a flowing handling movement which Wheater converted. Just before the final whistle Gronland again showed real pace to score out wide after an excellent break by young Walker. The conversion was missed but the Norwich coaches will be well pleased with the performances of fringe players who have given them some selection headaches.
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