RUGBY UNION: West Norfolk kicked off 2020 with a 62-0 demolition of Beccles to maintain their lead at the top of the London & South East League Three Eastern Counties table.
Bottom-placed Beccles had won three of their last four games going into this fixture so West faced the risk of a potential banana skin in their title hopes.
However, West blew away any festive break cobwebs to continue their unbeaten start to the season.
After only six minutes, sustained pressure in the Beccles half saw an offload to No.8 James Dobbler give him space down the wing for a strong carry. Quick hands from the backs released centre Max Rust to scoot round the Beccles defence for the opening score, converted by Sam Moses.
Winger Alex Singleton finished off a magnificent team try, with Moses converting to double the home advantage.
A dropped ball over the Beccles tryline cost West a third score before Jamie Williamson powered over the line, taking a Beccles defender with him, for Moses to convert again to make it 21-0 at half time.
A high tempo start with attacking rugby saw West maintain much of the possession after the break and excellent handling from Moses and Henry Rust set up flanker Harry Robb for another touch down, Moses converting.
Beccles found themselves down to 14 men after a high tackle before West’s next try came. A tapped penalty deep in the visitors’ half was distributed wide to Singleton, who was stopped just short of the line. A strong carry from prop Paul Bridges provided quick ball for Moses to dummy and step his way over the Beccles try line, converting his own score.
A phase of more than eight passes saw Edney Costa sprint over the line at full tilt before Singleton added his second try.
He soon completed his hat-trick, skipping his way over the line after a number of short phases on the Beccles five-metre line.
Joe Lewis-Mitchell added his name to the score sheet after sprinting half the length of the pitch to score in the corner before Moses got his second and West’s 10th try of the afternoon.
The Adrian Flux Man of the Match award went to Henry Rust.
Coach Darren Clarke was please to see how his team picked up the pace to see off the opposition.
“After a four-week break, we were a little rusty in the first half but after regrouping at the interval we played some excellent rugby,” he said.
“Our desire to not let the opposition over the try line was evident from all 18 players, which is reflected in our clean sheet. To kick off 2020 as we finished 2019 with a bonus point win and clean sheet lays the foundation for the rest of the season.”
Captain and man of the match Rust felt the break had taken its toll and said: “We started the game very well but we looked very rusty during the first half.
“In the second half the boys showed a lot of determination to really put Beccles to the sword with solid defence and some great attacking flair.”