Holt Rugby Football Club's first XV were defeated 19-34 by the Southend Saxons. 

Midpoint in the season and once again fielding 3 senior teams yesterday, in wet and windy conditions Holt 1st XV welcomed Southend Saxons to Bridge Road, formidable opponents having a superb start to their season with only one loss to date.

Holt head coach Phil Sharpe said: “We trained hard this week looking at areas that we knew we needed to improve on, and it was really encouraging to see the players take lessons we’d learned into the game.

North Norfolk News: A scene from Holt Rugby Club's home game against Southend Saxons A scene from Holt Rugby Club's home game against Southend Saxons (Image: Stuart Young)"We always knew this would be a tough one. There were no two ways about that, Southend are on top of the league for good reason and are a very professional outfit in every aspect of the word.

"Our main goal was to right some of the wrongs from our last encounter with them in September and give a better account of ourselves; we did that in abundance.

"We took the game to them with a strong line out, very strong defence and great attacking rugby, with the majority of the game ebbing and flowing relentlessly.

"We were disappointed not to get a score from a great line out and cross-field kick, it being judged to have been received by a player offside. On other days, I’m sure that would’ve been seen differently. 

"However we can only change the things that we can control. We know we need to be more astute and are enjoying the lessons and learning every game."

First-half try scorers Ollie Woodrow and Finlay Wilcox (conversions Tom Jackson). Second-half try scorer Charlie Cowling. Man of the Match was Joe Harrison.

Phil continued: “Moving forwards we need to ensure that we can maintain consistency in our play and recognise when weaknesses occur in the game to attack those with a degree of urgency.

"We have definitely seen progress in this area but know there’s still a lot more we can do.

"We have confidence in ourselves, are not afraid of anybody in this league and will keep pushing hard, knowing that things will come to us.

"We remain on target for our goals this season and remain focused on the bigger picture."

We are grateful for the outstanding support once again.

"It is one of the things that makes our club so special on and off the pitch. We now look forward to our last game before Christmas, a short trip down the road to Norwich next Saturday."

Match report by Jeanette Edwards