National League 2
Conditions were pretty much perfect for running rugby in the North of Norfolk and, truth to tell, both sides took every opportunity to make the best of it. Five tries to two just about accurately summed up what transpired since Albanians out muscled their hosts in almost every department.
This was an afternoon when OAs grew in confidence and, despite undoubtedly valliant opposition, particularly at scrumtime, the visitors bossed most of the broken field encounters. Defence will play a great part in this years campaign and there were extended periods of play when Albanians found themselves pressed deep in their own territory. The dogged and aggressive nature of OA counter-offensive measures left opponents, for the most part, bereft of progressive effect.
Most of the early play took place in Norfolk territory so it was not a surprise when Kemp Price crossed the line after a fine midfield break.
Serious Walsham effort drove play into the visitors half for an extended period, but without troubling the scorer. Thus vulnerable, a dramatic breakout gave possession to Samson Adejmi who coasted in from 30 metres not, however, close enough for a successful conversion. But the break beckoned.
There must have been something in the oranges! Almost immediately on the restart Nathan Michelow, a lively back row, benefitted from a brace of questionable passes to fly over on the deep left. Sam Jones improved with a titanic conversion. Jones obliged again when, ten minutes later, winger Kaz Henderson intercepted neatly on the Vikings 22 and strolled to the line for the bonus point.
Things evened up for the next quarter and, with thirty minutes left, strong possession and position gave Viking centre George Loose the opening he didn’t ignore. Flyhalf Matt Hodgson converted and improved his own high flying try with eight minutes left.
However Andrew Nurse had already crossed the white wash for the visitors five minutes earlier and Jones third conversion had sealed matters.
This confident performance went some way to provide Albanians with the answer to certain questions. The defence has normally been staunch, and was again. Tight play can almost never be perfect but Saturdays performance assured onlookers this element is improving. Broken field work yielded great benefit and coaches will be very happy to take their options into next weeks training sessions.
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There are no previous fixtures between these teams.