Norwich’s first half performance was one to forget as it basically sealed their fate, as they lost 29:16 to Basildon.
Due to a lot of absentees, 46 year old Haydon Cocker was recalled to the first team for his 538th appearance, as well as the return of Jon Snowling and Dan Coltman, both of whom were injured.
Norwich scored within 3 minutes thanks to Rob Micklethwaite’s penalty.
A poor scrum then gave Basildon the chance to pass wide to their winger and gift them an early try.
The Lions failed to tackle well against the pace of the Basildon team, and rather than be patient and wait for their chances, they forced the game too much. Basildon’s big pack took full advantage of their size grinding down the Norwich defence to score another try in the centre.
Despite Norwich’s best attempts they just couldn’t break down the Basildon defence, in spite of the best efforts of Jonny Wheater who had a few good runs, but the moves failed to fruit as they broke down with errors or impatience.
One of these attacks paid off fortunately for Norwich as Rob Micklethwaite took full advantage of a penalty to put them back in reach.
However, the game twisted again as poor tackling lead to a penalty for Basildon who took full advantage to take their lead to 19:6 for half time.
Substitutes Jon Snowling and Dan Coltman came on for the second half displaying their talent from the restart, with the scrum looking more stable and Norwich looking like they’re going to score it was a crucial error which lead to Basildon claiming control forcing the Lions back into their own half. From this pressure Basildon won a line out and pushed on to score their final try of the match.
This turn for the worse didn’t slow down Norwich though as they took advantage of the unfit, big pack of Basildon, leaving Norwich gaps to exploit and Snowling needed no second invitation as he overpowered a defender to go over in the left corner. Micklethwaite missed the conversion.
Despite Wheater being sin binned for holding onto the ball on the floor, the Lions continued to charge as Snowling got a second try in the right corner this time. Although Norwich battled until the end, there just wasn’t enough time for them to score more and Basildon dug in deep to keep them out.
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