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Good workout for rugby players

PUBLISHED: 11:19 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 15:21 07 July 2010

Dereham rugby players warm up for the season ahead against Crusaders.

Dereham rugby players warm up for the season ahead against Crusaders.

ON Saturday Dereham RFC played a pre-season fixture against a strong Crusaders squad on a hot afternoon. It was a full-blooded affair.

Dereham started strongly, exerting good pressure on the Crusaders 22 with strong rucking from Canning and Brown.

ON Saturday Dereham RFC played a pre-season fixture against a strong Crusaders squad on a hot afternoon. It was a full-blooded affair.

Dereham started strongly, exerting good pressure on the Crusaders 22 with strong rucking from Canning and Brown. However, a counter-attack pushed the visitors deep into Dereham's half, and ill discipline resulted in a penalty. The kick went tantalisingly close

but just missed the uprights allowing Derbyshire to collect and clear back in the Crusaders' half.

From the resulting line-out Ponder stole the ball in his first game at No 8 to set up a strong attacking position. Dereham retained the ball through the phases, drawing a penalty which they too missed.

The Crusaders wingers kept making good yards but the Dereham backs tackled well. Fish and Reeve ran well with ball in hand in the centres and the combination of Derbyshire and Drewery at half-backs provided good, clean ball. After a prolonged spell of attacks from Dereham Edwards crossed the line.

The game was played in four 20-minute quarters and after the second period Crusaders boosted their pack with a mixture of more experienced first team players. This did not seem to faze the well-drilled Dereham forwards who dealt with the challenge well under the leadership of new club captain Richard Dunsire.

However, quick ball from a ruck and some slick hands saw the ball out on the wing and the overlap was capitalised on as the winger darted over the line to score. The try was converted for a slender two-point lead to Crusaders.

Dereham then upped the pressure and forced them selves on the visitors line but were unable to convert the pressure into points.

Dereham coach Chris Fletcher said: “I was pleased with the team's performance today. The intention was to see how far we've come in pre-season training, try out some of the routines we've been working on and gauge

our fitness levels.

“It was a good performance against quality opposition, however there are still lots of things to be worked on before the season

kicks off.”

Dereham's first competitive fixture is on September 5 at home to Brightlingsea.


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