Friday, November 16, 2012
Last week’s defeat in the RFU Vase saw Norwich lose Walker, Liddiard and Webb to the injury list with Walker out until the New Year.
Norwich will also be without Adnitt, Greenwood, Fernie and O’Brien as they make their first trip to Canvey Island, a notoriously exposed and windy ground where winning requires visitors to be on the top of their game.
A below strength Norwich side underperformed last week and will have to improve significantly if they are to hang on to the slenderest of leads at the top of the table.
Norwich haven’t played newcomers Canvey Island before but will note that those games their hosts have lost have been by small margins so a good performance is essential.
On a more positive note, this week’s team sees the return of captain Dave Micklethwaite together with his brother Rob, Nick Austin, Toby Neill, Martin Cullum and George Pope.
The front row of Riches, Hindle and Swanborough is retained, having performed extremely well last week with undoubtedly the best scrummaging performance of the year so far, with Riches looking much happier at loose head.
Some adjustment to positions has been necessary to cover absentees so Wheater will play at fly-half with Austin and Hancocks outside, Neill and Cullum on the wings and Rob Micklethwaite at full-back.
Tomorrow will also see the debut on the bench of former Norwich youth scrum-half Sam Sadd after several years away from the game.
Beccles entertain Upminster following a solid performance against Welwyn in the RFU Senior Vase. Coach Keith Rix continues with Gavin Hewitt at scrum-half, leaving Marcus Sale to add his power in the centre.
The pack has a blend of power and pace with Robert Wilson in sparkling form.
Gavin Starks retains his open side berth and Chris Hinsley returns at blind side. Keith Johnstone and Paul Wilson will look to make an impact from the bench.
Wisbech face a quick re-match with Sudbury, the side they beat 17-7 in the Senior Vase last weekend.
That was at Harecroft Road and Wisbech will be looking to show they can also perform on away territory when they travel to Suffolk.