West winger Stephen Aspery dashes past Fakenham’s challenges.Pictures: CHRIS PLAYFORD.

RUGBY UNION: West Norfolk started the year in the best possible fashion with a strong performance to beat a tough Fakenham side 48-17.

The emphatic win at Gatehouse Lane set the tone for their intentions for the final half of the season and left coach Aaron Swanborough delighted.

“I am so pleased with our performance, especially after a long break over Christmas,” he said. 

“We knew Fakenham would be a strong side, being only a point behind us in the table but our performance showed how hard the lads have worked.

“We didn’t take our foot off the pedal and stuck to our game plan.

“Our defence was solid and our set-pieces were strong. 

West welcomed back club stalwart Jamie Williamson into the no.8 position, with Freddie Playford returning into the back line. 

It took only 10 minutes for West to open the scoring after two tries held up from lineouts. 

Williamson used his big frame and strength to power over the line from short range.

Then fly-half Sam Moses took advantage of quick distribution from the ruck by Adrian Flux Man of the Match scrum-half Hayden Revell and swerved his way over the Fakenham line. Both were converted by Moses. 

After a lapse in concentration, West’s county neighbours were able to score a try of their own before high-tempo running rugby pressured the visitors into conceding penalties, two of which were converted by Moses. 

Fakenham began to regroup and put pressure on the West defence, however, some strong tackling from hooker and captain Henry Rust, supported by prop Luke Covell, kept the away team at bay around the rucks. 

Centres Edney Costa and Jack Wicks led the backs defensive effort for West although Wicks added a try of his own after a superb 40m dash to the line by winger Stephen Aspery. He handed off a number of Fakenham players before Wick’s support was rewarded after a smooth offload allowed him to cross the Fakenham line. Moses converted again to earn the hosts a 27-7 half-time advantage. 

The second half started with the same flair as the first with Aspery scoring the try of the game. 

With West receiving the kick off it brought a solid platform for the forwards. After bullocking runs from Williamson and Will Greenwood, Moses shipped the ball wide quickly, allowing Aspery to share the spoils with a try out wide. 

Props Luke Covell and Paul Bridges began to assert dominance in the scrum, giving half backs Revell and Moses a solid base. Moses took full advantage, stepping his way over for his second converted try of the afternoon. 

After a well deserved try for the hard-working Greenwood, Fakenham took advantage of tired legs to finish strongly with two tries in quick succession.

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