West Norfolk 29
A convincing second half display saw West Norfolk bring home a bonus point win after their long trip to Billericay at the weekend.
The victory keeps West in the fight for promotion as they now sit level on points with second placed Cantabrigians, who do have a game in hand following their match postponement.
Despite a few missing bodies, West went with a strong squad, which included the return of Jamie Williamson to the back row and Christian Newton-Walters making a well-deserved start at hooker. West were aware that the hosts’ lower league position would not stop them from giving them a test, as many of Billericay’s home games have been relatively close encounters.
West kicked off going down the sloping pitch, which was firm, if a little muddy in patches.
Early forward exchanges saw both teams wrestle for the ball and West struggled to work some continuity into their attacking phases.
As the first 15 minutes passed a scintillating burst up the touch line saw centre Lewys Weaver power his way past a number of tacklers to open Wests’ account at 5-0.
A moment later West were back on the attack when a clearance attempt from deep by Billericay was caught by Tommy Windibank on the counter charge down the left wing. The ball was worked out to Weaver who clinically sliced through to score his second.
With West now 10-0 up, the foot seemed to go off the gas a tad and Billericay were able to hold off Wests’ advances with some good forward drives of their own from the lineout.
West could consider themselves unlucky as two further bursts over the line from Jamie Williamson and Alex Singleton looked like additional tries. However, the referee did not award them as he did not see the grounding of the ball.
On the stroke of half-time, West went for posts following an offside infringement at the ruck. Unfortunately, Weaver’s attempt drifted just wide of the posts.
Knowing that they needed to work harder going up the incline in the second period, West upped their game and started brightly. A half break from Harry Mahoney allowed the visitors an opportunity to recycle some quick ball, which went out wide again to Weaver. The centre jinxed past the flailing defence to complete his hat-trick, converting his own try to give West a 22-0 lead.
Fresh legs in the form or Neil Thurston, Ollie Ridout and Will Greenwood injected some extra impetous into the visitors’ attack.
As the hosts tired they began to give away further penalties and went down to 14 men after an offside tackle was made.
West capitalised fully with winger Jake Richardson sprinting in at the corner,. Weaver slotting the extras to finish the game with West 29-0 to the good.
Coach Chris Bird said: “This was a better performance from the lads, especially in the second half when going uphill.
“However, we have some big games coming up and we need to increase the intensity and work rate if we are to keep pushing forward. When the players work hard together as a team the scoreboard takes care of itself.”
West tomorrow entertain Upminster, KO 2.30pm.
Tulip Man of the Match: Lewys Weaver.