Saffron Walden RFC knock off Norwich to go joint top of London 2NE
PUBLISHED: 17:05 25 November 2015 | UPDATED: 17:05 25 November 2015
Five first-half tries ensured a bonus-point win that saw Saffron Walden leapfrog their weekend opponents in the league to go joint-top with Diss.
With the strong wind at their back in the first half, Mark Kimberley crashed over twice with Tom Price, Tom Hughes and Will Brown adding the others as Walden coasted to a sixth league triumph in their opening eight games.
Walden had the advantage in the first half and were ahead after four minutes, Price kicking a penalty after a Norwich man had failed to release winger Adam Miles in a tackle.
Norwich were defending well but 10 minutes later under increasing pressure they gave two penalties away which Walden took quickly setting up a couple of phases to get close to the try-line, Price ran on to the crash ball and with a couple of players on his back he managed to get over the line to score, He then judged the elements perfectly to swing the conversion through the posts for 10-0.
The next try resulted in a steal of a Norwich line about 35 metres out as James Gosden claimed the ball, it was quickly fed down the line and the Walden backs combined with some slick handling to put pacey outside centre Kimberley through under the posts to stretch the lead to 17- 0.
Norwich were then called for blocking a kick chase and Walden took another three points.
Two more tries in the last five minutes of the half all-but killed the clash as a contest with first Kimberley going over for his second when he combined with left winger Brown to score and then with the last play of the half, fly-half Hughes spotted a gap as the cover defence went wide and he was through, scoring the bonus point try unopposed to leave the half time score at 34-0.
With the wind now in Walden’s faces and heavy hail showers drifting through and with the wind intensifying Walden knew they were still in for a battle.
Five minutes into the second half, Norwich grabbed a pushover try to reduce the deficit slightly and 12 minutes later, a well-worked move saw them get through some solid defence to go under the posts to narrow the gap to 34 – 12.
In the last quarter the clock gradually ticked down with Walden working the ball rather than kicking but despite dominating the late proceedings, they could not increase their lead however the win was already confirmed.
Walden now have a break from the league as they travel down to Hampstead for the second round of the National Intermediate Cup.