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Norwich need to up their game against bottom side Basildon

PUBLISHED: 11:16 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:16 06 December 2018

Action from Norwich's defeat at  Wanstead line Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Action from Norwich's defeat at Wanstead line Picture: Andy Micklethwaite

Archant

In a season punctuated by agonisingly close defeats – either lost in the last play or by a couple of points – Norwich need to put in a good performance against the bottom side Basildon.

The Essex side have reputedly recruited well of late and although a first win has still eluded them, their performances have improved and they lost to Stowmarket – arguably the most complete team in the league – by only 14 points last week.

Captain Matt Selby starts for the first time in many weeks following injury, but Norwich – beaten 12-10 at Wanstead a week ago – will be without influential centre Jonty Newton, while six foot six inch centre Rudyard Gant is retained for his second first XV game.

Director of Rugby David Everitt said: “After last week’s poor display against Wanstead the squad have the opportunity to put things right against struggling Basildon this weekend. However, if we make the same mistakes again we could end up disappointed. Wanstead were always a potential banana skin and because our mindset was not right, so it proved.

“The fundamentals of rugby are possession, position, pressure, points and if you don’t take your points when they are on offer the pressure will revert on you and that is what happened.

“Although we were 12-3 down at half-time, we always had the ascendancy and spent the majority of the second half with possession in Wanstead territory, forcing them into giving away penalties, but failed to turn that into points because we opted to kick for touch instead of the posts in kickable positions.

“If you keep the scoreboard ticking over you increase the pressure and teams will crack. We didn’t do that and again lost to a side that we should have beaten. It is up to the players to show the commitment and knowledge to succeed.”

There will be a minute’s silence before kick-off in memory of former captain and president Trevor Wardley who died on Tuesday after a long illness. The Lions host Diss II without Stewart Cameron, who broke his leg in last week’s abandoned game against Norwich Union.

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