North Walsham gearing up for big challenge at high-flying Eton Manor

Pieter Claussen in full flight for North Walsham during last week's impressive win over Chingford. P

Pieter Claussen in full flight for North Walsham during last week's impressive win over Chingford. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

With a poor away record North Walsham Vikings face a daunting task tomorrow when they travel to play Eton Manor in their latest London 1N fixture.

The East London side were league leaders with an unblemished record until last Saturday when they lost 11-17 at Letchworth.

The single losing bonus point was not sufficient to prevent Colchester taking over at the top of the table.

Manor, who lost out in the play-offs at the end of last season, were always going to be contenders for promotion again this term and they and Colchester have dominated the division from day one.

Whilst not the highest points scorers in the division they do boast the meanest defence, having conceded just 131 in their 12 games, so will be difficult to break down.

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However, having scored five tries in the 39-8 win over Chingford, who have the division's third meanest defence, at Scottow last week coach Nick Greeenhall will know that if he can get his team in the right frame of mind they could create another shock.

However, those aspirations could be dented by gaps in the line-up due to unavailbility and injuries. Hooker Mark McCall is injured and Matt Oakes needs an extra week to regain full fitness so Aaron Beaumont, back at Scottow after a brief spell at Norwich, will step up.

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Stuart Loose has work commitments and lock Tom Coller is also unavailable but fortunately Aki Downing and Ryan Oakes are ready to step in.

Changes to the back line are also inevitable as both wingers Shane Van Vuuren and Pieter Claussen are unavailable but Chris Borrett and the powerful Wayne Williams should return. As Eton Manor are having work done to their floodlights kick- off will be at 2pm.

The Raiders have another friendly before returning to league action the following weekend and welcome Dereham, who are riding high at the top of Eastern Counties Two. Kick- off at Scottow will also be at 2pm.

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