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Defence is key for L&Y

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:19 05 July 2010

Lowestoft & Yarmouth 13, Holt 6

WITH a long rivalry this was expected to be a hot-blooded affair and L&Y's superior forwards married with a tight backline defence eventually proved decisive.

Lowestoft & Yarmouth 13, Holt 6

WITH a long rivalry this was expected to be a hot-blooded affair and L&Y's superior forwards married with a tight backline defence eventually proved decisive.

L&Y dominated the opening exchanges and were camped in the Holt half for the first quarter, Russ Chapman missing a long range penalty and Holt repelling some determined thrusts at their line.

Last year's games showed how strong Holt could be in the scrums, but L&Y held their own, despite it being Wayne Nixon's first game of the season, and Graeme Newton having to switch to the unfamiliar tighthead role.

On Holt's second foray into L&Y territory, they too missed a penalty attempt only to be awarded a second chance for full-back, Allen to open the scoring.

L&Y restarted on the offensive, pinning Holt in their 22 on the left.

Simon Coleman was proving his worth in the lineout, and captain Lewis Davey had no hesitation asking Scott Nelson to keep the pressure on by kicking to the Holt line.

After a forward drive to within three metres, the defence were preparing for a Nelson charge in the centres, but were foxed as Chapman, playing at scrum-half for the first time in three seasons, dummied and dived through.

The second period was played mostly in Holt territory, and although they looked threatening on a couple of occasions in broken play, some great tackles by Kris Nelson, Tom Smith and Davey kept them in check.

From a lineout on the Holt 22, Chapman released Zak Baxter to charge into midfield and he created just enough space for veteran fly-half Matt Jary to hurriedly squeeze over a drop goal and increase the lead to five points.

L&Y had Holt by the throat, now all they needed was to get the scores rolling.

Marc Thomas was having an influential game at no.8 and it was his pick-up and charge from a five-metre scrum that put the match beyond doubt and gave L&Y their second try, again unconverted.

In the last 20 minutes, indiscipline proved costly to L&Y as Holt worked their way up the field through a series of penalties, and with the referee at the end of his tether, Jary was eventually sent to the sinbin after an infringment at a Holt breakdown.

Holt managed a period of pressure against the 14 men but stout defence meant they could only come away with another Allen penalty.

With the clock running down and back to a full complement, L&Y brought on Ben McElroy, Carl Stephenson and James Gee then closed ranks against Holt's increasingly desperate attacks and comfortably saw the game out without further scores.

If L&Y can overcome their nerves, be more aggressive at the breakdown and more willing to free their talented backs, then they will develop into a fearsome outfit.

J&H Bunn MoM: Marc Thomas.

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