EASTERN COUNTIES 1

Woodbridge Warriors 21

Newmarket 18

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NEWMARKET began this re-match, on the attack, with a much-changed team from the mid-November game, which was abandoned at half-time following an injury to the referee.

The Warriors’ Cope took the opening kick well but Newmarket applied pressure on the blind-side to get up to the line, forcing a scrum which resulted in Carter opening the scoring for the visitors on four minutes.

Penalties started to mount from both sides which allowed Woodbridge’s Smith to take three points at the re-start and followed up, as the home team rucked well and forced Newmarket back to their own 22, with a well-gathered chip-through and try.

Both sides wanted this win and fought to play in their opponents’ half which resulted in a lot of penalties, kicking from hand and the occasional run from deep.

The set-pieces were fairly evenly-matched with Woodbridge having an edge in the scrum but Newmarket ahead at the line out.

Woodbridge’s forwards attacked, spinning the ball wide, and Jones made a great run only to regain possession at the breakdown and score a try converted by Smith.

The exciting end-to-end rugby continued and Newmarket’s pack worked hard to win penalties, allowing Cocks to take three points as their backs repeatedly tried to grub kick through and break the Warriors’ defence. Woodbridge had to touch down in their own goal-line several times.

The second session saw Woodbridge defending from the off, Biu putting in some great tackles and Bruce kicking well for territory only for Rowlands, deadly for Newmarket at 7, to turn over two line-outs, allowing Cocks to kick more pressure on the Warriors’ full-back, Smith.

It paid off, as eventually a short line-out on the Woodbridge five-metre line saw Holland score wide.

The aerial battle continued between Cocks and Bruce who also put in some good runs, one supported by prop Digweed, that got Smith within kicking distance to take three more points.

Woodbridge’s Bruce then harried at the scrum and won a match-deciding penalty three points from Smith. That meant Allen’s final try could not change the outcome..

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