Depleted West Norfolk maintain 100 per cent start to London 3 Eastern Counties campaign
Thurston 9 West Norfolk 20
Coach Darren Clarke was full of praise for his depleted squad as West Norfolk ground out a hard-fought win against tough opposition.
West Norfolk travelled to Thurston with eight of their regular first team players missing due to unavailability.
But with Dan Nunn moving to tighthead, Craig Blackmur in the second row and a bench with an average age of just 18, West maintained their unbeaten run in the league.
Clarke said: “With eight of the first team squad unavailable today this could have been a ‘banana skin’ game for us. The lads that came in and played out of position did exceptionally well.
“After a poor first half we had to dig deep playing up the slope for 40 minutes. Although our attacking play was not as clinical as it has been, our defence was outstanding limiting Thurston to just three kicked penalties.
“The whole squad have developed a strong mentality and we need to continue to work hard to maintain the winning run.
“However a special mention has to go to both props Edney Costa and Dan Nunn who played out of position, as well as the performance from lock Craig Blackmur.
“Our bench of Conor Clarke, Lewis Rudd and JJ Hart certainly made their mark despite not much game time, showing our potential for the future.”
Despite the downhill slope, West started sluggishly with Thurston applying early pressure to the West defence. Big tackles from back row Harry Robb and lock Craig Blackmur kept Thurston at bay, but ill-discipline at the breakdown would earn Thurston two quick kicked penalties in succession to give them an early 6-0 lead.
The front row of Nunn, Costa and Henry Rust, of which both props were playing out of position, fought hard to give Moses and his backs a stable platform to play.
Fly-half Sam Moses darted over the Thurston line as West held a 6-7 lead at half-time.
Stern words from head coach Clarke about discipline and patience in attack seemed to have the desired effect after the break.
Two penalties from Moses gave West Norfolk some breathing space before captain Henry Rust sealed an impressive win by going over for a try, with Moses kicking the extras.
Special mentions to the defensive efforts of centre Max Rust, No.8 James Dobler and flanker Will Greenwood.
Adrian Flux Man-of-the-match: Dan Nunn.
An understrength West seconds did not fare so well away against their counterparts from Thetford.
Despite a hotly-contested first half, West ran out of steam after the interval with Thetford eventually winning 65-26.
A special mention must go to all the players that travelled and played with various amounts of experience.
Trundley joint man-of-the-match was Eddie Crewe and Jacob Clunan.
More by this authorGreg Plummer