Match Report: Holt 24 Thetford 17
The tempo of the game made for an entertaining start to 2018 rugby at Bridge Road
Thank you to Martyn Sloman for this match report & Stuart Young for the photo's
Holt emerged as winners in a closely contested game between two sides comfortably positioned in the top half of London 3 Eastern. Despite the cold weather both teams were determined to involve all of their fifteen players in the game and this made for some exciting, if occasionally error-strewn, rugby.
The opening quarter of the game gave little indication of what was to follow. Holt camped in the Thetford half but were unable to convert territorial advantage into points and it was Thetford who scored first. Outside-half Mark Laws produced an excellent individual try by wrong footing the home side’s defence. The conversion failed and after some continuous Holt pressure James Wyatt replied with a long penalty making the score 3-5. Shortly afterwards forward interplay and good distribution from Holt allowed Tom Jackson to find space to score under the posts with James Wyatt converting to give them a five point lead. Thetford responded with a fine try of their own: centre Ryan Gardiner made a weaving run and fast recycling put number 8 Luke Bailey over in the corner. Again the conversion failed and the half time score of 10-10 was a fair reflection of the game.
The second half began in the same way as the first, with Holt dominating territorially. Centre Aaron Tagg was unlucky not to score when a retreating Thetford defender scrambled his well-judged kick ahead into the dead ball area. However Holt were not to be denied and scored two excellent team tries. First Tagg intercepted a loose pass in his 22 metres: his quick thinking gave James Wyatt room for an extended run along the touchline; Wyatt in turn gave an inside pass to the excellent Ollie Woodrow. Not for the first time that afternoon the young wing demonstrated his remarkable turn of speed and scored under the posts with Wyatt again converting. The next Holt try came shortly afterwards: the forwards created it with a driving maul from the lineout setting up a second try for Jackson.
These two second-half tries took the score to 24-10 but, to their credit, Thetford refused to surrender. Holt infringements in defence led to a series of penalties. Thetford chose to run the ball wherever possible and were rewarded with a try for their giant second row Jasper Spencer; this was converted from under the posts by Joshua Clark. Holt were relieved when this proved to be the last score of the game.
Although there were too many mistakes on both sides, the tempo of the game made for an entertaining start to 2018 rugby at Bridge Road. Holt’s Woodforde’s Man of the Match was scrum-half Jack Moore who consistently provided a good service throughout the game.