North Walsham Vikings look to get their season back on track after Chingford defeat

PUBLISHED: 06:21 22 September 2017

James Brooks takes his North Walsham side into battle against Ruislip this weekend. Picture: North Walsham RUFC

James Brooks takes his North Walsham side into battle against Ruislip this weekend. Picture: North Walsham RUFC


North Walsham Vikings return to Scottow tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) looking for a win to get their season back on track after their defeat at Chingford last week.

Compared to Chingford, this week’s opposition, Ruislip, will probably present a different set of problems for James Brooks’ men to overcome.

Over the three games so far this season Ruislip and the Vikings have similar records, one more bonus point putting the Middlesex side one place higher up the table.

They started the season brightly by handing out a resounding beating to so far pointless Letchworth followed by narrow defeats at the hands of Old Priorians and Eton Manor. The margin of those last two results would indicate a solid defence.

Coach Brooks will be faced with the already familiar task of filling gaps caused by injury and non availability. Up front he has almost certainly lost one of the lychpins of the side, Will Hodgson, who aggravated a shoulder injury at Chingford.

When he came off he was replaced by front rower Lachlan Brown-Bates to such good effect that Brooks named him man of the match, so he could be in the frame for a start.

Also out is skipper Ryan Oakes with work commitments so Tom Coller is likely to step up. Also unavailable are back rowers Tom Knight and Ed Sampson but South African UEA student Will Swart who impressed off the bench last week will start with Will Haynes on the bench. Behind the pack scrum half Will Findlay has headed off to Uni at Loughborough and, unless Brooks has anyone else up his sleeve, Mike Braans and Jake Duffield are likely to form the halfback pairing. The impressive debut, following pre season injury of centre Hal Riley from Holt, highlighted what a strong presence he brings to the back line.

The Raiders who came away from Swaffham with a hard fought win are also at Scottow to play Beccles who having been relegated last season will be looking for a swift return to London 3 and will provide a stern test. Kick off for both games is scheduled for 3pm.

Elsewhere in London One North Diss will be looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats when they travel to Old Haberdashers, who are yet to taste victory so far this season.

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