New-look West Norfolk off to disappointing start

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Harlow 48

West Norfolk 19

West Norfolk’s league campaign got off to a disappointing start as they were beaten on the road by fierce rivals Harlow.

Despite the rainy weather conditions, the pitch held firm and West arrived confident that they could take the game to their hosts.

A new-look West handed league debuts to number 8 Laurence Few and winger Nathan Waddington, with the young Jacob Chapman and Harry Blackmur coming onto the bench.

Harlow went onto the attack straight away and were able to pin West back in their own 22 area effectively.

Although West defended stoutly the pressure told and in a near repeat of the previous week, a couple of penalties and an early try saw the hosts take a 13-0 lead.

West hit back on the counter with a neat chip and chase from Charlie Moore, which was gathered behind the Harlow defensive line for centre David Harrison to touch down.

Fly-half Michael Hogan converted to close the gap to 13-7.

Unfortunately, Harlow continued to starve West of possession and kept the visitors fighting on the back foot.

An injury to winger Jake Richardson after 20 minutes gave another blow to West Norfolk’s endeavours.

Harlow then compounded West’s frustrating start with another penalty and try to extend their lead.

Nontheless, West continued to work hard and with a solid platform in the scrums and decent scavenging around the ruck area from the likes of Jack Slingsby and Yousef Edris, they were able to gain some territory.

An intercepted pass saw Ryan Walker make a break through the middle and with quickly recycled ball West went over again with Playford crashing over.

The second half took a similar shape to the first, with West having pockets of good play, only for a mistake to be capitalised upon by Harlow.

A couple of additional tries from the hosts extended their lead further, but with the fresh legs of Rory O’Sullivan and Jacob Chapman on, West were able to get some attacking ball to charge up field.

In particular, Few made a number of impressive surges past the Harlow defence.

This resulted in a powerful drive over the line by captain Paul Bridges.

West upped their game and began to look dangerous, but another injury blow to centre AJ Edwards disrupted their pattern and hopes of gaining a bonus losing point were lost.

Tomorrow sees West revive rivalries with Ely.

Man-of-the-match: Laurence Few.

West 2nds beat a strong Norwich 2nds 38-7 at home, with tries from debutants Quinton Houston, John Nwaneri and Jason Langley.

West 3rds continued they winning start to the season with a 17-5 victory at Haverhill, Jake Huggett, Kyle Hind and Adrien Marie-Francoise getting on the scoreboard.