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Rugby club in good heart

PUBLISHED: 09:09 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 14:41 07 July 2010

Dereham warm up for the season.

Dereham warm up for the season.

FINAL preparations were made last weekend for the start of the new league season with both Dereham First and Second XVs involved in local friendlies.

The First XV visited Lakenham Hewitt and included three debutants: Aaron Tribe at inside centre, David Johnson at blind side flanker and Wombat at No 8.

FINAL preparations were made last weekend for the start of the new league season with both Dereham First and Second XVs involved in local friendlies.

The First XV visited Lakenham Hewitt and included three debutants: Aaron Tribe at inside centre, David Johnson at blind side flanker and Wombat at No 8. Head coach Frank Affleck stressed the game plan of an expansive style and although at times Dereham did revert to the tight, there was much encouragement from their performance.

Aaron Tribe marked his debut with the first of a brace after Dereham turned over a Lakenham line-out and released the back line to cut through the mis-aligned home defence. His second came late in the game to complement an excellent all-round performance. Jason Pilbrow chipped in a couple of scores from the wing with his mix of power and direct running. Chris Fish capitalised on a quick penalty while Wombat made it over at the second attempt and worried the Lakenham back row all afternoon with his surging runs.

The new open style brought out the best in some of the more established players, notably Nick Reeve who as well as scoring combined with Aaron to snuff outall Lakenham attacks.

In the tight, the front row of Brown, Sutton and Canning were solid and provided a steady platform all afternoon while Andy Brooke caused havoc from the re-starts by clearing everything and running the ball deep into the defence.

At times Dereham tried to over-complicate and in the squally conditions there were some missed chances but overall the final score of 51-0 will encourage the team before their big league game against Southwold at Moorgate.

aptain Scott Malcolmson was full of praise for the team: “The squad has been training hard through the summer, developing a new strategy to exploit the talent we have coming into the team. The new lads did exceptionally well for us today and we aim to keep playing entertaining winning rugby to improve on last year's league position.”

Kev Powley's Second XV didn't fare so well against a strong Watton First XV. After a number of late call offs Dereham fielded only 12 players and had to rely on making up the numbers from Watton's squad.

Among the bright points was a welcome return for Graham Eaglesham at prop after a long lay off through injury and a guest appearance from Simon Nash. In the forwards the honours were fairly even as the experienced packs managed to cancel out much significant advantage. But out wide Dereham had no answer to Rob Walker who ran in an impressive five tries. Dereham did their best to counter with a hat-trick from the irrepressible Basecala and while Dereham won't be happy with the 43-21 score, the high scoring and open game made for an entertaining match.

Next, the Seconds play Crusaders Thirds away.

The Dereham Barbarian U13s are playing their first competitive match on September 28 at Moorgate.

For any players who want to start playing in this age group there is still time to join the squad and make a bid for a place in the starting line-up.

Contact Roy Head on 01362 690649.

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