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Woodbridge Warriors 7 Thetford 31 report - Will Martin nets 26 points for Norfolk side

Will Martin carries for Thetford in their win at Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARD

Will Martin carries for Thetford in their win at Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARD

Archant

London 3 Eastern Counties

Woodbridge Warriors 7

Thetford 31

The visitors exerted early pressure as their line-out worked well and centre Tom Gelder and full-back Will Martin put in some aggressive runs.

Penalties in attack frustrated the Warriors, scrum-half Adam Plummer and lock Dan Knights pushing hard but Thetford held possession, moving the ball quickly for centres Gelder and Josh Clark to press on the left wing.

Play stayed central for a while with both teams testing the long kick and running from deep. Tackles were plentiful and the ruck was heavily contested – Thetford looking the better drilled, second rows working effectively to clear out.

Plummer got sacked at the back of a scrum and Thetford’s backs used rapid hands out to wing Kristopher Minter, winning a penalty, and Martin took the points.

Woodbridge fought for more possession and peppered the Thetford 22 touch, Matt Bowman linking with Hart on one promising dart but the defence held. The half ended with Thetford threatening the home try line.

Matt Bowman on the run for Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARDMatt Bowman on the run for Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARD

The men from the forest attacked on the right wing through Minter and then Gelder was at it again, jinking and sidestepping down centre-field.

Hart came to the rescue with an excellent touch as things went aerial, Warrior full back Angus Clogg kicking long for his talented opposite number; the omnipresent Martin to recover it, kick on and run in a try on the left.

But Woodbridge doggedly kept up the challenge, Bowman took over the charge and captain Tom Stokes worked hard on the ground to get the ball for Hart to battle over and lift the crowd as he scored between the posts.

In reply Thetford’s forwards picked and drove, forcing the Warriors into their own goal area where a push over scrum saw the ubiquitous Martin in the No8 position score.

Tom Stokes looks to release the ball on the ground for Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARDTom Stokes looks to release the ball on the ground for Woodbridge. Picture: SIMON BALLARD

Woodbridge had a couple of attacks, Clogg running clearances back with Simon Ward, Stokes and Cook in support and established a few attacking line-outs.

But there was an air of inevitability when Martin received the ball on the 10-metre line and dodged and swerved his way to a hat-trick having scored and kicked 26 of the Thetford’s 31 points.

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