Norwich 30 Chelmsford 0 – Strong start to the season for hosts in London 2NE
- Credit: Archant
After scoring 150 points in their three pre-season matches Norwich were unsure how they would measure up against a relegated new boys Chelmsford.
Despite some early errors Norwich dominated territorially and looked back on the first half wondering how they were only 3-0 up at half-time, from a well struck penalty from Theo Elliott after nine minutes, with Chelmsford scrum-half Charlie Inwood missing a fairly straightforward penalty chance after 35 minutes while Norwich had second row Simon Darby in the sin bin.
The hosts assumed the ascendancy in the second half and after 10 minutes David Micklethwaite appeared to score near the posts but was brought back for not releasing the ball in an earlier tackle.
Norwich increased their lead moments later when Elliott added a second penalty in front of the posts for an offside offence by the visitors. The lead was increased as the game crept towards the final quarter when Norwich scored the try they desperately needed with Darby getting the touchdown after a rolling maul.
Norwich made a complete hash of the restart which enabled Chelmsford to get back into the game and they only failed to get across the line because of some poor handling of a very wet ball. Norwich relieved the pressure and got a penalty inside the visitors' half which was kicked to the corner. From the ensuing lineout another rolling maul was set up and Darby scored his second try.
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This time it was Chelmsford who messed up the restart and from the scrum on halfway scrum-half Jonny Payne broke to feed David Micklethwaite who in turn put full-back Chris Parrot over for Elliott to add an excellent conversion to put Norwich 23-0 up.
In the last minute of the game Norwich got the bonus point with a penalty try awarded after a five-metre scrum with Norwich driving their opponents over the line.
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A good start but Norwich are aware there are tougher challenges to come, not least a trip to Cantabrigian on Saturday.