Old Brentwoods 5
West Norfolk 40
West returned home from their latest travels in London North East 3 with another solid bonus point win under their belts on Saturday.
West were able to journey down in strength, with a large base of supporters and a formidable squad, despite missing Paul Denton, Ollie Ridout and Henry Rust.
This saw starts for forwards Max Rust and Harrison McNaught, as well as young forward Yousef Edris making his senior league debut on the bench. Lewys Weaver was back from injury in the centres.
Brentwoods chose to have the glaring sun behind them as they received the kick-off.
Apart from the soggy pitch, conditions were otherwise good for attacking rugby. West began strongly with some powerful bursts up the centre. This led to a penalty chance at goal. Unfortunately, Monty Maule’s kick drifted wide.
The visitors were in determined mood and on the 10-minute mark a catch and drive from the lineout saw the ball shipped out to find winger Alex Singleton, who cut in to open West’s account, Maule converting to make it 7-0.
A dazzling break from Weaver then set up full-back Ross Biggs, who is looking to be back in superb form, Maule adding the extras (14-0).
With West’s forwards threatening to get the upper hand on their counterparts, Old Brentwoods then countered with a series of well worked attacking lineouts.
However, West held firm with some stout defending.
As half-time approached, West stepped up a gear once more and another excellent break from the backline ended with Singleton bursting over to secure his brace, Maule adding the tricky touchline kick.
The hosts then regrouped and were able to get the ball wide to make it 21-5 to West at the interval.
Disappointed with their first half finish, West then began to increase the pace of the game and a flowing attacking move saw Weaver slice through to score, Maule narrowly missing the conversion from out wide.
From the restart Ryan Walker took the catch and went on a rampaging burst up the centre of the field, gaining 50 metres. The rest of the forwards came close to going over from a number of penetrating breaks.
During this period of the match, there were some fantastic runs from the likes of Harrison McNaught, Jamie Williamson and Neil Thurston. Maule side-stepped his opposite number to break through the defensive line, before converting his own try to make it 33-5.
With Tommy Windibank and Nic Bull now giving some extra fresh impetuous, West continued to build the pressure on their hosts. It was pleasing to see Edris make an appearance in the last 15 minutes and with some driving runs around the pitch, he demonstrated why he is one to watch in the future.
Another fine break from the backs resulted in their sixth try as Weaver crossed the line, Maule converting.
West now host second-placed Cantabrigians tomorrow in what already promises to be a crucial match in their league season.
Tulip Man of the Match: Ryan Walker.