West Norfolk 103
Old Brentwoods 14
West Norfolk completed a stunning sixteen-try rout over Essex outfit Old Brentwoods as they signed off their final home game of the season in style.
The victory keeps West’s target of promotion still alive as they look ahead to the final round of games after Easter.
Having played so well against Harlow, the only changes to the squad personnel saw backs Nic Bull and Sam Greenwood come in for the missing Charlie Moore and Harry Mahoney.
In windy, but otherwise good conditions for running rugby, West kicked off and set the tone for the day when centre Lewys Weaver cut through to score in front of the large home crowd. This was shortly followed up with their second when a break from flanker Dan Stephenson ended with his fellow back rower Neil Thurston surging through the middle to score.
Winger Tommy Windibank was then set free on the left touch line, Weaver adding the extras to give West a healthy 19-0 lead. On the 20 minute mark Old Brentwoods hit back when they capitalised on some sloppy handling by West to go over for a converted try.
Weaver steadied the ship with a penalty kick, before hooker Henry Rust burst past the defence to score. At this point West were looking dangerous in every attack, with fly half Ed Maule and forwards Lawrence Savage, Paul Bridges and Jamie Williamson making good breaks.
West seemed to then take their foot off the gas for a period and a series of chances then went begging. However, as half time loomed Weaver sliced open the visitors to score his second, before Alex Singleton gave a great supporting line to hand West a 39-7 lead at the break.
Despite having the wind against them now, West were quickly back into their stride from the restart as Windibank completed his brace.
Nic Bull powered through to add to Wests’ tally shortly after this. Winger Jake Richardson outpaced the defence to touch down, before Weaver glided in for his first hat-trick of the day.
From a close range attack No.8 Jamie Williamson crashed over to take Wests’ lead to 72-7, which was shortly followed by another from Weaver.
With Old Brentwoods struggling to keep up with the pace of Wests’ play the hosts were able to continue opening up the defensive line. This resulted in a number of penalties being conceded, and West took the opportunity to target their opponents with some forward drives from the lineout. One such phase ended with captain Lawrence Savage going over for his seventh of the season.
Jake Richardson then rounded past his opposite man to score his brace, before Weaver finished off a scintillating backs move.
To their credit, Old Brentwoods didn’t give up and were rewarded when they pounced on a loose clearance kick from West to score and double their tally.
Wanting to end on a high note, West composed themselves and another fast paced break finished with Weaver competing his double hat-trick, handing West an outstanding 103-14 win.
West coach Chris Bird said: “This was one massive performance from the lads, with some lovely support play shown throughout the squad.
“However, it’s great to see the lads still looking to improve when mistakes happen, despite the large score advantage. We now need to focus on our final match, as there’s still all to play for in the promotion stakes. We want to take the game to our opposition.”
West next travel to Sudbury on April 11 as they seek to claim the second promotion place in what promises to be a tremendous encounter against the league winners.
Tulip Man of the Match: Lawrence Savage.