West Norfolk 26
West travelled to Sudbury in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday, looking to build on their recent performances against Swaffham and Sleaford.
West arrived with a large squad of 23 players, including a mix of new, young and the more seasoned campaigners at first team level.
This saw the welcome return of Craig Edwards in the centres, along with deserved starts for the likes of Lee Williamson and Liam Hind.
West were fully aware they would have to up their game against a strong Sudbury outfit, who had a squad of more than 30 to choose from.
Although perhaps a little too hot, with the clear skies and a good pitch, conditions were ideal for the attacking rugby both sides love to play.
Sudbury started strongly in the initial minutes by dominating the break downs, which allowed them to cut through the West defence and score near the five minute mark.
However, this seemed to shake West into action and a fluid attack saw centre Lewys Weaver take a great running line before offloading to winger Jake Richardson, who touched down in the corner.
Sudbury hit back after a quarter of an hour with another well worked try out wide, following a sustained period of possession.
West then stepped up a gear with some fantastic running lines from the likes of Craig Edwards, Tommy Windibank and Alex Singleton.
In particular, Ollie Ridout was unlucky to not breach the defence following a mazy run cutting in from the right wing.
The visiting forwards were now gelling together nicely, with forwards Ben Bullock, Rory O’Sullivan and captain Jamie Williamson making several yards on the crash ball. This pressure told when Hind powered over from close range to close the gap.
With fresh legs following the break, Sudbury cut a line through the visitors’ defence to score two tries in quick succession and were now looking rather ominous.
However, West regrouped and came close to touching down when front row Lawrence Savage sucked in three defenders, before popping to Jamie Williamson on the charge, who was brought down inches from the line.
Undeterred, a number of away attacks from the likes of Phil Vorster and Lee Parry saw Richardson scorch home for his second try.
Sudbury came back and scored again after some good work at the ruck to give themselves a buffer at 36-19.
Determined to end the game on a high, West then piled on the pressure with a series of close range forward bursts within the Sudbury 22, which ended with O’Sullivan crashing over under the posts. Weaver added the extras to close the game.
Although there is still much to work on, West can take a lot of positives as they now focus on their first league encounter, hosting Southwold tomorrow, 3pm kick-off.
West Norfolk Development also kick off their campaign with a trip to face Norwich Medics.
Man of the match was Ollie Ridout.