West climb highest at a line-out.

RUGBY UNION: A young West Norfolk u18 team slipped to a narrow 19-17 defeat at home to Crusaders in their latest post-lockdown fixture.

The side is made up of mainly u16 and u17s but opened their campaign with a 26-5 win at Norwich and a 15-7 defeat at Sleaford.

West went ahead against Crusaders when Jack Harvey picked the ball from the back of the ruck to drive over the try line and score an unconverted try in the first five minutes.

Crusaders hit back with a converted try to go 7-5 ahead but West pushed back hard, gaining the advantage and getting into Crusaders’ 22. 

Close to the five-metre line, fly half Jamie Hickling received a pass from scrum half Ed Mellor and managed to find a gap in the back line to dive over. The try was converted by full back Josh Burgess to give the hosts a 12-7 half-time lead.

Crusaders brought on their strong backs, who kept the ball out wide. However, despite repeated attempts, they could not break through. Defending a ruck on their five-metre line, a West player received a yellow card and, with the home team down to 14 players for the next 10 minutes, Crusaders took advantage and scored two tries and a conversion in quick succession.

In the dying minutes, West captain Luis Costa received a great pass from Rory Gagen to score the final try.

West host Spalding on Sunday, 12.30pm.