London 1N: North Walsham 32, Ruislip 5
- Credit: Archant
On a brisk showery afternoon the Scottow faithful were warmed by another impressive home win by the Vikings as they soundly beat a Ruislip side who have found it hard to win on the road.
With Matt Oakes coming in for Mark McCall at hooker and a strong bench the hosts set about the visitors with real intent and could have been ahead early on but for a lack of accuracy in their wide play. However, the home side continued to press, playing with tempo and commitment and they kept Ruislip pinned back with an increasing physicality around the fringes and good phase play.
The visitors found it hard to cope with the ball carrying ability of Tom Williams and Chris Kent and the forwards as a whole steamed into the rucks and mauls. The Vikings' set piece gained ascendancy and although Henry Dewing missed an early penalty he slotted the first points of the afternoon on 10 minutes.
The visitors came back and a good kick chase yielded territory but the home side counter attacked and after a driving maul and excellent ball retention David Treglown and Rhys Davies-Horne contrived space for Will Hodgson to step through the Ruislip defence and score a fine try wide out. Although the conversion was missed the Vikings were now well on top.
Ruislip full back Mullen tried manfully to stem the flow but after a typical Chris Kent surge down the short side, which conceded a penalty for not releasing, the Vikings spoiled the line out and attacked down the middle. Quick ball released outside half David Treglown and he manoeuvred his way through a loose defence to score a clever try.
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The conversion attempt was successful and the Vikings ended the half 15-0 to the good. The home side were well worth their lead at the break and had played with commitment, physicality and a clear game plan.
They were sharp and snappy around the fringes, the set piece provided front foot ball while the backs, intelligently organised by Treglown, kept the ball in the right areas. Defensively their line speed was good and they looked a sound unit from wing to wing. Full back James Knight was solid and his ability to break out with his power and awareness was telling.
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The visitors started the second half with a flurry and worked themselves into a good attacking position after a positive break down the middle. However, they gave ground after conceding a penalty for not binding and the Vikings were back in the opposition half and continuing to build the pressure. Ruislip had found it difficult to build any momentum throughout and with their pack under the cosh and the Vikings forcing errors they looked a beaten side.
To that end they maintained the tempo and physicality and with Williams and Blyth to the fore they drove a set piece over for Williams to score a well deserved touch down. Although Treglown missed the conversion the home side were now on their way. After more impressive driving play and clever tactical kicking another telling contribution from Knight put the ever willing Will Quinn in at the corner. Again the conversion was missed but the Vikings were now ringing the changes off the bench and there was no let up for the visitors.
A decisive break by the abrasive Godwin led to the evergreen Stuart Loose going over half way out and Treglown slotted the conversion. To their credit the team from West Middlesex never gave up but it was clear they were light in key positions. They gave it one last go down the right and, after quick hands, winger Alex Fieldhouse squeezed in at the corner for an unconverted consolation to send them home with something to smile about.