Rugby: Fakenham come through tough test at Swaffham to claim another win
On a damp Saturday Fakenham travelled to local rivals Swaffham for their penultimate game of the first half of the season and came away with their 13th straight win.
The pitch was very heavy, making running hard and handling loose. This played into the hands of the bigger pack of Swaffham and made it harder for Fakenham’s incisive back line.
Fakenham’s indiscipline set them back early on when the referee awarded a penalty against them for an infringement around the ruck. The kick was true and within the first couple of minutes Swaffham were leading 3-0.
As the half wore on Fakenham showed why they were the top of the division. The conditions made handling difficult but Fakenham could still move the ball out to their wings who then outflanked the Swaffham defence and make ground up the pitch.
Second from bottom Swaffham were not a push-over though as their big runners broke through the Fakenham line often, requiring several visiting players to pull them to ground. Beside these breakthroughs they were also able to set a few driving mauls and Fakenham will be disappointed with the yards they made.
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Try scorers in the first half were Lloyd Marshall, Ashley Stewart and Josh Gee with Marshall getting all three conversions. Swaffham added a second penalty kick to their tally, taking the half-time score to 6-21.
The second half began where the first left off but the game play from both sides soon deteriorated as the ball became more greasy and passes hit the ground rather than a safe pair of hands.
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Despite this, Fakenham added two further scores to their tally, a second for Gee and one for Jordii Walker, again both being converted by Marshall.
Overall Fakenham should be pleased with a 13th bonus point win from the game but they will need to return to their previous level of play when they head into the play-offs in the second half of the season.
The Norfolk Brewhouse Man of the Match was awarded to Luke Taylor.
The weekend sees both first and seconds at home.
The first team play the last of their scheduled league games before the play-off stage when they entertain Norwich Medics, kick-off 2pm, and will finish 17 points clear of their closest rivals if they win well. The second team host Holt III (11.30am).