Norfolk Cup provides post Christmas rugby fare

Friday, December 28, 2012
5:49 PM

Weather permitting, the Scottow faithful will have some rugby to watch this weekend.

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With both Beccles and Walsham progressing in their relative RFU cup competitions it has been a real task for the fixture secretaries of both clubs to meet the expectations of the county organising committee and get the game played before the year’s end. It was still nip and tuck up until last Saturday, when Beccles had to travel to Wisbech to fulfil a fixture previously postponed through an unfit pitch.

Fortunately the game went ahead with Beccles securing a solid 26-0 win over their Cambridgeshire rivals, freeing them up to make tomorrow’s game possible.

In an effort to avoid pitch problems the game at Scottow has been moved from the first team pitch to one with no lights, so supporters are urged to note that kick off will be at the earlier time of 2pm.

With players away for the break coach Nick Greenhall will field a side much changed from the one that beat Holt. However, almost all the squad will have had some first team experience over the past two seasons – even if it has been a brief stint off the bench.

Important though this game is, Greenhall’s focus is firmly on the league campaign.

He will no doubt take the opportunity to run the rule over some fringe players who rarely get a chance to pull on a first team shirt, possibly using them in the starting line up, and keeping some key players on the sidelines to feed in as the game progresses.

This could mean contests in the front row between Dan Goodrich and Aaron Beaumont for the hooking duties and Dom Roberts and Aki Downing for the prop’s shirts.

All four gave featured heavily for the Raiders this season. Leon Davies missed the Holt game and a couple of training sessions with illness so he could figure in the second row to rebuild fitness.

Rueben Berghan and Luke Hickey who both had outstanding games for the Raiders at Holt could get the call into the back row.

Alex Graf-Grote, back from three months in Germany, is the likely choice at scrum half, and with Will Hodgson at home in Devon. Garry Phelps could partner James Knight in the centre.

There is also Norfolk Cup action at High Kelling tomorrow, with Holt playing hosts to Wymondham (kick-off 1.45pm).

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