West Norfolk 82
A thunderous 14-try feasting on home turf was just desserts as West turned up the heat on Billericay in their latest league encounter.
Past meetings between the two sides have proved to be hard fought, but recent results were indicating that West might be favourites as the visitors have been struggling since their promotion from Essex One.
West were able to field a strong squad, which saw the return of Ryan Walker into the pack and exciting newcomer Lewys Weaver making his league debut in the centres.
Choosing to kick in cloudy, slightly wet conditions, West hit the ground running when Weaver cut a sublime line to score within minutes after the players had managed to regain possession. This was closely followed by a try from winger Tommy Windibank out wide, before Weaver sliced through for a second to give West a healthy 19-0 lead.
With the home side having the upper hand in the lineouts, some quickly recycled phases distributed by tenacious scrum half Sam Greenwood was giving the hosts’ backline some quality ball to make serious inroads into their opponents’ half.
Billericay were working hard around the ruck area, but a number of missed tackles gave the likes of No.8 Jamie Williamson and the Maule brothers, Monty and Ed, plenty of opportunities to cut through the defence.
Weaver outpaced the trailing defenders to complete his hat-trick and hand West a 24-0 half-time lead.
The second period started with an excellent move out wide that ended with full back Ross Biggs going over for his first of the season. This was followed by hooker Harrison McNaught linking up in midfield to go over for West’s sixth try.
Paul Bridges came on at prop for captain Lawrence Savage and made an immediate impact with a crash ball over the line in the far right corner.
Billericay attempted to gain some territory, but a turnover saw Monty Maule counter attack from fly half to run in. This was followed by a series of penetrating runs which saw winger Jake Richardson pick up his first try of the day, before Windibank also completed a hat-trick.
Having had another solid game, Neil Thurston made way for Henry Rust, who eagerly powered through to notch up West’s 12th.
With Billericay desperately looking to get into range to strike for some points, West continued to apply immense pressure and another counter attack saw Monty Maule collect his own chip and chase, before flat-footing the last defenders to sprint in for his brace.
West were in a ruthless mood and a final score came when Richardson rounded his opposite number.
Monty Maule had Dan Stephenson added the conversions to give West a final tally of 82-0 as they now move up to fifth in the table.
Coach Chris Bird said: “We’ve talked about giving a total performance for the whole 80 minutes and it’s been a delight to see the lads finally do this, having threatened it for so long. The attacking lines and support play were fantastic throughout from start to finish.
“What’s also extra pleasing is that the lads maintained their concentration in defence and did not allow Billericay to get close to scoring.”
Tomorrow sees West make the tough journey to face Upminster.
Tulip Man of the Match: Paul Bridges.