Beccles 9 v Warriors 40 17/9/16

Woodbridge traveled to meet an opponent they hadn’t faced for some time as Beccles played in London 3 last season. The opening skirmishes showed that the home team was keen to put last week’s 26-7 loss to Ipswich YM behind them. Early pressure won Beccles scrum half Jake Yeowell a penalty but Woodbridge came straight back with an attacking line out and penalty in Beccles 22 from which Jack Johnson leveled the score.

Woodbridge immediately renewed the attack, fly half JP Hart gained 20m with a jinking run back into the host’s end with Johnson and Captain Tom Stokes in support. A scrum saw the first of many great shoves from the visitors. With the set pieces giving him reliable possession Hart kicked long for the chasing Johnson to retrieve, dodge some desultory tackles and score.

A maul penalty gave the Warriors some brief respite from renewed Beccles pressure but a repeat infringement gave Yeowell another 3 points. Some great forward play followed with both sides being frustrated in attack despite some dogged rucking from back rows; Nick Woodley and Ed Berridge standing out for Woodbridge and Darren Fisher for Beccles. Prop Simon Codd and his flanker Woodley punctured the home defence only for full back Jamie Smith to be bundled out of play. The clearance was stifled by Berridge who kept the pressure on with forward support and the scrum delivered up more Warrior ball this time to Stokes who ran through a stretched defence to score.

Penalties from both sides rounded the half off at 9-20 with Woodbridge having dominated possession.

The visitors started strongly – Johnson took another 3 points. Warriors dominance in the scrum saw Beccles on the back foot relying on Yeowell’s boot however missed touches only reloaded the attack as Johnson’s long boot was the measure of Yeowells. The pressure rewarded Woodley with a try after he, Johnson and Stokes had led another of many assaults from a scrum in the Beccles 22.

Warrior defence held firm with Hart finding some enormous kicks to keep the home team pinned in its half despite some strong runs from full back Stuart and Cameron Armstrong with the hard-working Yeowell who became more adventurous as his frustration increased. Warrior No 8 Jono Cooke had a couple of fine carries as did Richard Clark before the ball was spun wide to winger Taff Lloyd who failed to reach his long chip-chase in goal. Woodbridge were still enjoying most possession and territory but were being denied by Beccles’ defence until Johnson, Berridge and Woodley connected to get Sam Hallows a well-deserved try.

In one of only five visits to the Warrior half Beccles failed to score despite being a metre short and the counter attack saw Ed Burridge run in unopposed to seal the bonus point win and put Woodbridge second in the table.

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