Roosters' season "a write-off" after defeat at Saxons

Norwich Saxons 38-18 St Ives Roosters ST IVES Roosters must begin planning for next season after their latest defeat, according to head coach Ian Hill. The Roosters went down to a 38-18 defeat at Norwich Saxons on Saturday, leaving them languishing in mid

Norwich Saxons 38-18 St Ives Roosters

ST IVES Roosters must begin planning for next season after their latest defeat, according to head coach Ian Hill.

The Roosters went down to a 38-18 defeat at Norwich Saxons on Saturday, leaving them languishing in mid-table of the East Division of the Rugby League conference, with two wins from six matches.

"This season is now a write-off," said Hill. "It's been very disappointing for us. We targeted the play-offs, but, given how the season has gone, we are now looking towards bringing through the younger players and building for next year."

The Roosters beat the Saxons 36-22 in the season-opener, but the return fixture was arranged at short notice, leaving the Roosters struggling for players. They had to borrow four Saxons players to put out a full team, and coach Hill came out of retirement for his first game in five years.

"We did really well, considering the fact that we were missing so many players to prior commitments," said Hill. "We worked hard right until the end, but not having any substitutes really cost us as we tired, and they were able to score three tries near the end to make it look comfortable."

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The Roosters scored early through Chris Sykes, but Saxons struck back quickly with two tries of their own. In a see-sawing game, one of the Roosters' borrowed players then touched down against his own team.

The game's outstanding move saw the Roosters take the lead, as another loanee from the Saxons dived over for a try. Drake's kicking boot still wasn't quite swinging, and another conversion was missed.

Tries either side of half time seemed to put the game beyond the Roosters, but they hadn't given up, and added another through a Saxons loan player. Charles Paxton sent over the conversion.

Without substitutes, gaps began to appear in the tiring Roosters defence, and Tom Wakeley had to produce fine saving tackles to prevent tries on two occasions. The Saxons ran in three tries in the last 10 minutes to stretch the flattering scoreline.

The Roosters host Colchester Romans at 2.30pm on Saturday July 4 at Somersham Road.