On Saturday the 25th November Fakenham travelled to North Walsham to play Walsham’s 2nd team in a top of the table clash. It was to be an entertaining encounter that made it apparent why these two sides were sitting atop the league. The day started slightly awkwardly for Fakenham when having arrived at the ground it was realized that the playing kit had been forgotten and the game only got underway when North Walsham offered the loan of one of their strips for which many thanks are due for the sporting offer.
North Walsham were the first team on the board, converting a penalty kick after infringements from the Fakenham pack in their own half. Fakenham soon struck back though with Luke Taylor collecting a
Fakenham survive bruising encounter to maintain unbeaten record.
Fakenham came into this game expecting a tough encounter, Norwich Union being the only team to have put any significant points past them so far this season. The two teams play opposing styles of rugby, Norwich Union predominantly using a strong, well drilled pack against Fakenham, a side looking to use the pace and ability of their back line.
Norwich Union were the first team to score. Gathering the kick off and putting together a solid 10 minutes of phases using their bigger pack to run aggressively at Fakenham. Fakenham's defense was good and held out for a long period but eventually the pressure told and Norwich Union went 1 score up, 0-7.
Fakenham regrouped and almost immediately struck back, using their own pack to drag in the Norwich Union defense and allowing space for Jordii Walker to run into a gap and through to the line and Lloyd Marshall converted 7-7. The next score also went in Fakenham's favour very shortly after. This time Fakenham moved the ball through short quick
At the weekend, Fakenham travelled to the Gt Yarmouth Broadlands ground with 5 changes from the previous week’s team but still in good spirits despite this having won 7 from 7 games. The conditions were wet with a strong wind, not the best for handling and running rugby but both sides tried hard to play their normal game but with mixed results.
Fakenham scored early in the first half with Jordii Walker cutting a strong line, taking a pass at speed and breaking through a number of tackles to score under the post to give the visitors the lead, the conversion was good by Tom Bane-Young 0 -7. Broadland with physically the bigger set of forwards pressed forwards but the Fakenham defence held firm and when the home side were awarded a penalty they opted to kick at the posts and were successful 3-7. Fakenham again looked dangerous in attack and surged forwards, a swift passing move at pace saw Murray Tindall break the Broadlands defensive line and score the second try of the game, converted by Tom Bane-Young 3-14. Fakenham pressed their advantage in the hunt for more tries and Jordii Walker scored his second try with some strong running to go
Another game and yet another bonus point win for Fakenham giving them a clean slate of beating all of the opposing teams in the league with bonus points in all games – however, this headline was only part of the story. Beccles started well taking the play into the Fakenham half with their more physical side and they scored the first try of the game after 19 minutes to lead 7-0. Fakenham then gathered themselves together after this setback and 6 minutes later Brett Stolworthy ran in an excellent try on the right wing to pull the score back to 7-5. Fakenham were now getting settled into their game plan and 2 minutes later Lloyd Marshall scored under the posts after a good backs passing move that came directly from the restart, 7-10. Beccles not to be outdone scored an unconverted try shortly after, their physical game proving awkward for the much lighter and faster Fakenham side, 12-10. The pattern of play persisted with Beccles camped out in the Fakenham half only to see the speed of the Fakenham side breakout and run the ball toward the Beccles line before they had a chance to do anything about it. Two more scores to Fakenham in the first half saw the half time score 12-27.
The half time team talk had some effect and the second half was not
Fakenham hosted a strong Swaffham on a windy Saturday afternoon. Swaffham put on a strong physical contest but Fakenham came out winners with a 26-12 score line and the 4-try bonus point to retain their unbeaten League record for this season. The wind caused trouble for both sides throughout the game with lineout throws going astray and passes not always going to hands.
Fakenham's scrum and lineout were put under heavy pressure throughout the match by a good Swaffham pack. It wasn’t until midway through the first half that Fakenham were finally able to open the scoring. A slick running line and determination allowed Josh Sperring to get to the try line and touchdown for the opening score, which was promptly converted by Tom Bane Young. Soon after, Fakenham were again building pressure on the Swaffham line with multiple phases from the pack. The ball was spun wide and Luke Taylor evaded a couple of defenders to score in the corner. At no point were the Swaffham side overwhelmed and they continued to play good rugby and attack the strong Fakenham defense. A lapse in concentration resulted in missed tackles and Swaffham were able to bring a score back taking it up to half time at 12-7.
The second half continued in much the same manner, excellent competitive rugby with aggressive running and tackling. Fakenham’s third try was the result of a well worked backs move using Jordi Walker to draw in the defense and opening a large hole for Ian Williamson to gallop through. Swaffham were the next to score, a good try which allowed them to tie in Fakenham’s otherwise solid defense and score in the corner. The final Fakenham try went to Adam Lingwood. The Swaffham defense was expecting the ball to be moved out from a ruck leaving no defenders directly in front. Adam spotted this, picked up the ball, took it straight over the ruck and ran in for the score. Swaffham were pressuring the Fakenham line right to the final whistle but there were no further scores. Fakenham hold their commanding position at the top of the table and move on to play Beccles away next week, start time usual 3:00pm.