League leaders will give Vikings a challenging start to 2018 at Scottow

North Walsham were convincing winners over Saffron Walden last time out. Picture: Hywel Jones

North Walsham were convincing winners over Saffron Walden last time out. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

After what seems to have been a very long break rugby resumes at Scottow tomorrow with the visit of London One North table toppers Chingford.

The Essex side – who have topped the table since day one of the season – lead second-placed Brentwood, the only side to have beaten them this season, edging a 20-19 contest at the end of November.

In the away game in September the Vikings, short of a couple of key players, were off the pace in the first half going into the break losing 3-33 and facing what looked to be a severe trouncing. However they regrouped at the interval and came back strongly, scoring two tries to Chingford's one to eventually lose 15-43.

It is obviously impossible to say how Saturday's game will go but given a full squad and playing in front of home support the final score this time could be a lot closer.

With a decent break behind them there should be no outstanding injuries to affect James Brooks' selection but it is not known if the two South Africans in the squad, Mike Braans and Will Swart, will have returned from their trip home.

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The second XV Raiders, who moved back to second place in the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties Division One North table after their 45-10 win over Norwich Union before the break, have just two games left before the revised fixture list – based on the first half's results – is announced.

The first is a tough one away at Diss tomorrow, who sit in third place and who went home with all the points from their visit to Scottow in October.

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The third XV Warriors, who have had an up and down first half and have had to concede some games due to a lack of players, should have enough to fulfil their game at Scottow against Dereham tomorrow.

• Diss kick off the new year with a testing trip to high-flying Brentwood in London One North, who beat them 50-14 at Mackenders earlier in the season.

The visitors should be good heart for the game, having recorded an excellent 26-22 win over fourth placed Colchester in their final fixture before the festive break. Diss, who were promoted from London Two North East in the summer, begin 2018 in a solid ninth position, 14 points clear of the bottom three.

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