North Walsham bidding to get opening day league defeat out of their system

North Walsham come up against a determined defence on Saturday. Picture: Hywel Jones

North Walsham come up against a determined defence on Saturday. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

North Walsham will be aiming to get their London One North campaign up and running tomorrow when they entertain Saffron Walden in their second fixture.

Disappointed though they were at the defeat last weekend the Vikings will know that in Colchester they were up against a team that could be genuine promotion contenders.

It was obvious from the outset that despite the visitors' relegation they were a tight knit bunch with, like Walsham, a good team ethic and the result hinged on an interception try.

Tomorrow's opponents will be treated as no less of a challenge, despite shipping 50 points to Eton Manor in their opener, while picking up a four-try bonus point.

Last season Saffron Walden finished mid table and the two games against the Vikings were closely fought.

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There were no apparent injuries last week but coach James Brooks will still have selections to make as he is likely to have more players to choose from.

Front rower Tom Browes returns so Brooks can either rotate the front row, putting him in at hooker, or start with him on the bench.

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Hal Riley is definitely still out as his knee infection needs another week to heal while Harry Downing went through a full two hours training on Tuesday with no apparent ill effects and is almost certain to figure in the squad.

New signing Dan Smith, who impressed with the Raiders last week, could get a spot on the bench.

North Walsham (from): A Downing, L Bates-Brown, T Browes, T Weber, R Oakes, R Miller, T Knight, C Godwin, G Rossi, W Hodgson, W Findlay, J Duffield, J Riley, J Knight, H Downing, A Howe, D Smith, V Vurewa, M Braans, J Brown.

While North Walsham were being beaten 34-24 at home Norfolk rivals Diss were winning their first game since promotion from London Two North East.

They came away from fellow new boys South Woodham Ferrers with an excellent 18-8 victory and now face another tough away game at the Vikings' conquerors Colchester. The visitors will have to do without New Zealander Kimi Latu, who has returned home after a farewell appearance last week.

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