Missed kick in added time costs Ipswich draw with Norwich
- Credit: James Ager
London Two North Ipswich 17 Norwich 19 The talk before the start was of a real derby game, commitment from both sides, no quarter given or asked for – and that was just what was delivered.
Norwich prevailed on the day, but Ipswich fought to the end and scored three tries to one, gaining a losing bonus point in the process. It was a very tight first half, which ended scoreless. But just before half-time Ipswich winger Wez Vakadranu was sin binned for an illegal tackle.
And it was only three minutes into the second half when the first score came, to the visitors, from prop Pete Hosking, converted by Theo Elliott to put Norwich 7-0 up.
Ipswich to their credit fought back and after a great break by Carlton Littlechild, followed by a Josh Wright sprint, Ipswich had a ruck close to the line and Tui Uru scored a great try. The conversion was missed but Ipswich were back in it at 7-5 down.
Both sides had found ways to score now and when Ipswich were penalised in their own half Elliott converted a 35 metre penalty to give Norwich a deserved 10-5 lead.
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Ipswich drove back with a great passage of multi-phase play with Uru breaking to gain ground and in the end Chris Blom drove over the line to score Ipswich’s second try which was converted by Jake Steward to give the home side a slender 12-10 lead.
That lead was short lived though as Ipswich conceded another penalty only 25 metres out, converted by Elliott again, putting Norwich 13-12 to the good with 10 minutes to play.
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And Ipswich were penalised again when Wes Vakandranu was carded again and sent off for a second illegal tackle. Once again that penalty was kicked by Elliott giving Norwich a 16-12 lead with three minutes of normal time remaining.
That was extended to 19-12 as Elliot added another kick and the game moved into added time.
14-man Ipswich attacked again with real energy and commitment in a desperate effort to level the scores and when fullback Jake Steward scored with a great breakaway 10 metres from the posts, a conversion would have levelled the scores. Unfortunately, Steward hooked the conversion to the left of the posts and Ipswich were defeated.
Ipswich captain Cameron Beaton said: “The positive today was that we have demonstrated that we can play in this league and we can build on this when we eliminate the errors and execute well, three tries to one showed our mettle.”