High-flying North Walsham beat Romford to protect perfect record at Scottow
- Credit: Hywel Jones
The Vikings made it three wins from five with a convincing victory over dogged Romford.
Superior in all departments, Walsham dominated possession and territory but nevertheless found themselves 7-6 down at half-time.
They went ahead though soon after the restart, and thereafter the win never looked in doubt, running in three tries.
As ever the foundations for the victory were laid by the forwards where the front row of Aki Downing, Matt Oakes and Tim Weber gave their opposite numbers a torrid time at the scrums, whilst half backs Jacques Olivier and David Treglown played the wet conditions perfectly.
Treglown's place kicking was key too, putting over some difficult penalties when the tries were not coming.
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Nick Greenhall's side showed 10 changes from last week, three of them positional, with Stuart Loose unable to make his 450th appearance due to a back injury.
The Vikings were soon into their stride doing the basics well: getting across the gain line, retaining possession at the breakdowns and making their tackles.
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Chalk Hill Brewery man of the match Pena Sokia was prominent, consistently making ground and putting in some crunching tackles.
Romford got into an attacking position just once in the first 10 minutes, only for Tom Coller to steal their lineout, something he did on at least six occasions.
A Treglown penalty gave the Vikings the lead on 15 minutes. Four minutes later, against the run of play, they went behind, a defensive mix up enabling Storm Pearton to gambol over for a try; Ben Lawrence converted.
The Vikings continued to pin Romford in their half but without creating scoring opportunities. The visitors clung on; defending tenaciously and somehow retaining possession as they consistently retreated at scrum time. Fifteen minutes from the break Treglown cut the deficit with a long-range penalty.
The Vikings kept making mistakes in good positions. Will Hodgson made a 40-metre run from halfway but the supporting players were penalised at the breakdown, Henry Dewing did well to prevent a penalty from reaching touch only for the subsequent attack to be halted by a forward pass. After Sokia had yet again made inroads, it needed three defenders to halt James Knight but the second phase ball was slow.
The home side were soon on the offensive after the break with Treglown consistently forcing Romford back with some great kicks from hand. Two more long-range penalties by him gave the Vikings a 12-7 lead 12 minutes into the half.
With Romford tiring from their battering in the forwards and the Vikings showing more precision, try scoring chances began to be created.
In the 57th minute Coller won a Romford lineout, the forwards drove 20 metres and when the ball was released Knight took the perfect line to storm over from 30 metres for a try. Ten minutes later the forwards executed the perfect pushover try, Ryan Oakes the scorer; Treglown converted.
With 15 minutes left, and the Vikings firmly in control, the hunt was on for two more tries and a bonus point. With the conditions worsening they could only manage one, Hodgson gathering a loose ball on halfway and racing through to score in the corner.