Woodbridge lost when they last played W Norfolk in 2014. The hosts started strongly, pressuring the visitors and drawing a penalty after a dart by flanker David Evans and full back Jake Richardson who sadly broke his leg in the ruck and play was delayed an hour. After the ambulance left Sam Moses took 3 points. Aggressive Warrior tackling earned a penalty line-out and a great drive from Dan Knights and Owen Scott saw JP Hart pass quickly to Lee Barton who scored. Game on. Woodbridge kept Norfolk pinned in its half despite them getting the better of the scrums. Possession was kicked away and the Warriors welcomed the attacking opportunity, Matt Bowman made 20m, moved the ball wide, Barton nearly scored again. Woodbridge harried and rucked well to disrupt and frustrate – Captain Tom Stokes, No8 Jono Cooke, lock Aldis Salavejs and front row led with charges until a line-out was moved quickly cross field via Hart for Bowman to dot down and Jamie Smith convert. West Norfolk worked themselves upfield to camp on the Woodbridge 5m line where Luke Lovell, Paul Denton and Paul Bridges drove hard and nearly crossed the line. A reset and fast hands from 9 Olly Ridout and Moses gave Olly Denton the try. Played stayed central with both sides working hard to keep ball in hand but being forced to kick. A Warrior ruck eventually gave clean ball for Hart to Sam Hallows who scored.
The second half started with a barrage of Woodbridge belligerence as they worked well at the breakdown and kept the ball winning a penalty under the post for Smith to take 3 points. Norfolk countered on the left with big prop Paul Bridges putting in some strong carries and breaking tackles. The penalties began to mount and yellow cards were received by both teams as frustration raised tension. In the final ten minutes Woodbridge received a succession of penalties in defence and Norfolk capitalised with a forwards strike through Edney Costa in the corner. Not enough to deny Woodbridge their first 2017/18 win.
We wish Jake Richardson W Norfolk full back a speedy recovery from his injury
West Norfolk 13 v Woodbridge Warriors 22