North Walsham 0 Brentwood 19: Vikings deny leaders bonus point with plucky display
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham denied the league leaders a fourth try bonus point, and kept a clean sheet for the final 50 minutes of a much improved performance in a game played in a chilling easterly wind.
However, the Vikings have now slipped to seventh place in London One North.
The set piece was sound, and Aki Downing carried well, although some of the early tackling was poor, with the Vikings defending too narrowly against opposition three quarters who were running clever lines and coming onto the ball at pace.
Brentwood wing Charlie Wilkinson had the better of Jordan Mustard in the first minute but was held up over the line, before Mustard stopped centre Josh Stannard, following a similar move two minutes later.
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Number 8 Paul Bradley went over for the visitors on 11 minutes, Bradley Burr adding the kick.
Wilkinson then went round the outside of the defence again to score the second try, which was unconverted.
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Walsham were holding their own, although the service at the breakdown was often slower than needed, before Stannard ran three quarters of the length of the field through non-existent tackling to touch down, Burr adding the extras.
Will Swart took a yellow card before half time but the home defence improved to cope with his absence.
The third quarter went well for the Vikings, only hampered by handling errors after patient multiple drive phases up field.
James Knight was held up in goal, and soon after, his kick to the corner was knocked-on over the line.
Stalemate then ensued as both sides brought on their replacements and saw out the final 20 minutes.
Head of Rugby James Brooks was pleased with the positive reaction after last week, and felt the set piece was good, despite going against the stiff wind in the first half.
His team felt they were still in it at half time and were pleased to keep the top side in the league scoreless in the second half.
Tight head prop Aki Downing was the Chalk Hill Brewery man-of-the-match.
Vikings: Brown, Mustard, Hodgson, Knight, Smith, Duffield, Braans (Thomson 73), Downing, Brown-Bates (Knight 73), Canning (Weber 57), Oakes ©, Scotland, Swart, Godwin, Miller.
Referee: James Pidding (SE Group)