Winning start for Swaffham

With just one trial rugby game under their belt, Swaffham First XV kicked off their new league campaign in style with a convincing win over Lakenham Hewitt 56-7.

With just one trial rugby game under their belt, Swaffham First XV kicked off their new league campaign in style with a convincing win over Lakenham Hewitt 56-7.

In front of their loyal supporters, who again filled the sidelines, every man performed well to secure early points and by half-time the team had a healthy lead.

This was polished off well in the second half with a spate of late tries, after a slow start.

The match saw a return to first team rugby for R Impey from a debilitating knee injury, and he slotted straight back into the side, commanding his back line confidently from fly-half. Swaffham won the ball straight back from Impey's kick-off and a quick ball was provided by the pack to release the flowing back line early on. Spreading play from one flank to the other, the Lakenham pack was forced to work hard to keep out Swaffham's advances.

The breakthrough came as Gladman powered forward from a good ruck ball, combining well with Impey, and eventually C Hamilton finished well on the left wing, rounding off a good passage of play. Hamilton scored again soon after, chasing a good tactical kick from Impey.

The number 10 collected himself and fed the ball out of the tackle to Hamilton, who again showed pace and power to round his opposite number and thunder across the line.

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The third try came as Swaffham secured a scrappy ball soon after the restart. Scrum-half Palmer fed the ball out to the charging Chamberlain, who sprinted from the half-way line, rounding three defenders with his powerful hand-off to score elegantly in the corner - a great score from the second-row, who led his men round the park all afternoon, setting a fine example as skipper.

Next to score was D J Barnard, who ran well in support as Impey pounced on a loose ball from the back of a Lakenham scrum. Impey off-loaded and Barnard crashed over from five metres to score.

Nearing the end of the first half, from a good line-out deep in the Lakenham 22, Gunnell powered over from the back of a maul, despite Lakenham's best effort to collapse it legally.

Impey scored next, setting up the move from the centre of the pitch from a ruck. Prop Gunnell made excellent ground from the breakdown to pop up outside the centres and power 20 metres on up the pitch. Gunnell then released Impey 10 metres out, who finished the move off with a good show of support and pace to dive in the corner.

The second half started poorly for Swaffham, and for a while the defence was tested to the limit as Lakenham attacked the Swaffham ranks with vigour and intent.

Great tackling by the centre pairing of J Taylor and D J Barnard, coupled with aggressive rucking from the pack, saw the situation rectified as a clean ball was won, and the backs used it effectively, spinning it wide in an attempt to round the defence, and seeking field position from the boot of Impey. J Palmer scored a fantastic try as he dummied and went blind from scrum-half at the base of a scrum. He showed real pace as he beat the winger round the outside and touched down in the corner. Converted by S Webb.

Murray had a good game at second row, and used his assets well in the second half, with short, sharp bursts with ball in hand gaining valuable yards.

Great support from flanker M Taylor and the rest of the pack saw continuous possession secured. M Taylor also had a successful day at the line-out, winning both his own, and his opponent's ball. M James was brought on for the young second row Adam Youth to add extra fight and fresh legs to the contact situations.

Adam played well in his debut league game for the First XV. S Terzza was also brought on in place of C Hamilton, who had dominated on his wing with big hits and strong running. Terzza scored moments after coming on as play was spread beautifully from the right to the left in the Lakenham 22, Terzza finishing the sweeping move well.

On the opposite wing, D Smolen was also making a big impact in defence and attack, linking well with Sparks at full-back to create two-on-one situations on a number of occasions.

Lakenham scored a consolation breakaway try as a loose ball was snaffled by their flanker, who ran from the 10-metre line to touch down under the posts. With the Swaffham full-back involved in the attack, there was no-one at home to defend the Swaffham line. Outside centre, J Taylor wrapped up proceedings with two tries in the final five minutes, the second of which was successfully converted by S Webb.

Swaffham MoM this week was Impey, who proved his worth as Swaffham first team fly-half.