Stowmarket 24 Norwich 19
For their second half performance alone, Norwich deserved to win this game at Stowmarket on Saturday. They had fallen behind in the first half, thanks to a couple of knock-ons, which were ignored leading to the opening score. The first try by the home side came after 13 minutes, and until then the sides looked evenly matched with the home backs looking dangerous when they had the ball, but with the Norwich forwards having the edge up front. A sliced Norwich clearance kick was knocked-on by the Stowmarket full back, but that was ignored. From the ensuing ruck, the ball was moved left to centre Tom Sells who knocked on, but again was allowed to pick up and put scrum half Joe Fifield in under the posts. The try was converted by Sells to give the home side a seven point lead. This might have taken the stuffing out of Norwich, but they battled on and were unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions. Certainly a couple of penalty chances to kick at goal were turned down in favour of kicking for the corner, when taking the chance for points might have been a better option.
As it was with 10 minutes of the half left, Norwich conceded a further score when they made a hash of a Stowmarket penalty, which failed to find touch. The ball went loose just outside the Norwich 22 and no.8 Colin Clark, picked up the ball and was allowed to trundle down the touchline to score in the corner. This was not converted. Just when the Norwich supporters were feeling that 2 scores down at half time would not be too much to overcome, Norwich managed to concede 2 tries in the 42nd and 44th minutes of the half, through right wing Jermaine Watson, which was well taken and left wing Dan Garrad, which came from some shoddy defence by the visitors. Garrad’s try was converted to give the home side a 24 point lead at the interval.
Soon after half time Norwich got on the score sheet with a try from a rolling maul, touched down by Dave Micklethwaite. Right wing Yannick Posse could not convert the score. At this stage Jordi Walker replaced full back Jay O’Brien, which meant that skipper Jonny Wheater went to full back with Walker taking his place in the centre. Norwich began to dominate the game territorially and went close to reducing the arrears on a number of occasions, but could not make the pressure count. The front five were magnificent and putting their opposite numbers under great pressure in the tight.
They were rewarded with a try from Walker, who ran a superb line to score near the posts, which Pousse converted. The home support were getting seriously concerned and rightly so as it was Norwich who scored again, when flanker David Micklethwaite finished off a great break by Wheater to go over under the posts. Pousse added the conversion to finish off a highly entertaining game and a great second half for Norwich.