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Thetford too good for Woodbridge in energetic clash

PUBLISHED: 14:27 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:27 15 January 2018

Woodbridge's Tom Stokes makes a big hit against Thetford. Picture: SIMON BALLARD

Woodbridge's Tom Stokes makes a big hit against Thetford. Picture: SIMON BALLARD

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London 3 Eastern Counties

Thetford 34

Woodbridge Warriors 8

This mid–table clash didn’t disappoint, as both sides started energetically.

The Warriors pressured through full back Jamie Smith who ran back clearance kicks joined by fly half Adam Plummer and flanker Matt Bowman.

Thetford’s big Adam Harper retaliated, bursting through several tackles to make ground, mauling from the line out and forcing clearances and penalties - scrum half Joshua Sharp kept his forwards, Abraham Barnes, Richard Sharp and Aaron Stokoe, supplied with driving passes but it was Sharp that scored.

Then wing Robert Duchesne made a sinuous 40m dash to harass Woodbridge further only for the chip to go dead. The drop-out was run back fast on the left wing by Ryan Gardiner and centre William Martin ran through scant defence to score.

Woodbridge came back from the restart, passed quickly left, Bowman carried 20m before offloading to winger Felix Kibble to score. Penalties then allowed Thetford into their 22 but the Warriors defended well, clearing up-field where Smith kicked three points.

Adam Plummer on the carry for Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARD Adam Plummer on the carry for Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARD

Thetford started the second session by blasting Woodbridge back into their 22, missing an opportunity wide on the left which allowed the visitors to get back into the home half before they also missed a penalty chance for more territory.

Harper had another good run to the halfway line but the Warriors applied some pressure of their own, putting Thetford momentarily on the back foot.

It was the boot of centre William Martin that cleared and put Plummer under pressure and the line-out produced fast hands across pitch to Martin who broke three tackles to score.

Smith missed a penalty shot before long kicks forced them to run from deep but they occupied the Thetford half for a period forcing penalties and passing fluidly.

Matt Bowman on the charge for Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARD Matt Bowman on the charge for Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARD

Thetford counter-attacked through left wing Gardiner and Sharp took three penalty points as the balance switched – a ruck outside the 22 and long pass from Sharp to Gardiner set up a try-line ruck and Sharp dotted down.

After a shabby restart failed to make 10m a centre-field scrum saw wingers combine - Duchesne to Gardiner – and a fifth try confirmed a well-earned Thetford victory.

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