West Norfolk 3
West Norfolk skipper Paul Bridges was full of praise for his young guns after a 35-3 defeat at Southwold in London 3 Eastern Counties on Saturday.
The team were left with a tall order ahead of their longest away trip of the season with several unavailabilities forcing West into a number of changes.
But West’s replacements stuck to their task admirably against a well-drilled home outfit.
Bridges said: “Travelling to Southwold is always is a tough game at any time which didn’t help with all of our unavailabilities this week.
“However I was very proud of all the lads who left nothing on the field, especially those who have stepped up from the second team.
“Southwold had a very good mix of youth and experience and it was evident they had played together for a long time. With a largely youthful team we were up against it from the start, but we tried our best to take it to them and play a physical game to starve them of ball.
“This worked in parts, but I feel we made too many handling errors and gave away a few too many penalties.
“This may have been due to fitness through defending for long periods.
“We know what we need to put right in training this week and I am positive we can continue to improve as we have all season.
“We are now looking to put a good display against Ely in our second Friday night fixture of the season which will be a fierce, but winnable, game.”
Despite some physical tackling from the likes of Matt Clements and Luke Covell and some strong forward running from captain Harrison Rudd and captain Bridges, West fell behind following a misplaced pass.
West continued their early momentum, working their way deep into the Southwold half, to win a penalty which was converted by fly-half Moses.
Unfortunately this would be the end of West’s contribution to the scoreline with Southwold asserting their dominance through their experienced forwards.
Despite some big hits from Adam Fox and Edney Costa, Southwold went into the interval 25-3 to the good.
A well-worked try from a driving maul saw the hosts increase their lead in the second half.
West’s back three of Reavell, Jones and Knox showed some silky running to get West back into the Southwold half as they started to starve Southwold of the ball.
More aggressive defensive play by flanker Rob and Matt Clements held out Southwold before a questionable yellow card for Moses.
Eventually saw Southwold go over for a further try to wrap up a hard-fought 35-3 victory.