HOME CAMPAIGN FINISHES ON A HIGH
Report by Graham Pratt
On a warm and sunny afternoon Rochford signed off their home matches with an emphatic win over Norwich and with an impressive display off attacking rugby to please their large number of supporters.
It was especially pleasing as the boys did not do themselves justice in their previous encounter earlier in the season and to add the extra try bonus point was icing on the cake.
Rochford showed from the off that they were in the right frame of mind as they attacked from all parts of the field and after a couple of near misses prop Matt Bevan drove over to open the scoring.
Norwich hit back with a penalty kick before Captain Matt Stewart finished off a slick piece of rugby to run in for a try and converted to put his team 12-3 ahead.
Although Rochford ‘s set scrum struggled against a bigger pack they more than made up for it with excellent lineout work and loose play providing their backs with continued quick ball.
As the first half progressed Rochord’s speed and general ball play created many chances and it was only a matter of time before another score would come.
Matthew White was having an impressive game on the wing with some thrusting runs and it was fitting that he should score after some very good ball play between the backs and after mark billings entered the line and linked up to create the scoring opportunity.
The Norfolk side responded with a good try of their own when their number eight broke free to score a try and Norwich went over again just before half time to bring the score line to 17-13 at the break.
The home team needed to go up a gear as Norwich had now got the long journey out of their system and were starting to lift their game.
Flanker David Rufai is a new addition to the side and was having an excellent match winning good ball in the lineout and putting himself about in the loose. His efforts were rewarded with a well taken try to add the bonus point and which Stewart converted.
Shortly after full back Billings scored a fifth try with some fast, jinxing running and Matt Stewart again added the extra two points to take the score to 31-13.
There was time left for more points to be added but Norwich responded well and put pressure on Rochford who began to make some basic errors and the game became a stalemate and no more points were forthcoming.
Going into time added on the visitors found that little extra effort and were determined to have the final say.
A number of scrums and penalties on the Rochford line ensured and the home side’s strong defence eventually gave way and Norwich drove over for a very late try to end proceedings.
A very good way to finishing their home campaign but with two more hard away fixtures against Epping and Diss Rochford know they will have to continue to play with this gusto and determination to finish the season on a high.
They are well capable of doing it but they will need to have the confidence and mind-set to make it happen.