North Walsham look to end miserable away record at Ruislip
- Credit: Hywel Jones
Despite sitting comfortably in fifth place in the London 1N table North Walsham are there thanks mainly to a decent home record while they have struggled to pick up points on their travels.
In truth their away record is best described as dismal, with their last win on the road at Woodford 12 months ago and the current winless sequence stretching to 11 games including two draws.
Ironically the most severe defeat came against tomorrow's opponents Ruislip, with the Middlesex side, who ended the season in fifth place, running out convincing 76-12 winners against what was admittedly a well below-strength Vikings side.
Their away record against struggling sides has never been the greatest so they will have to up their game to break the sequence, as Ruislip are poorly placed just above the relegation zone.
With players coming back from injury last week in the hard-fought 33-25 win over Thurrock, the side looked more comfortable and if they can play with the spirit and skill levels that enabled them to stretch away in the closing stages then they should come home with the points.
However the final composition of the side has been delayed while some players juggle work commitments with travel arrangements. Hooker Mark McCall is one who is definitely out while Tim Weber and Ryan Oakes are ranked as possibles.
McCall's spot could go to Dom Roberts with various permutations relating to the others.
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Matt Oakes, who can play in either the front or back row, is likely to be at No 8 in place of skipper Mike Rouse, who has other commitments.
In the backs there is likely to be one change. Wing Pieter Claussen was hobbling at the end of the Thurrock game and could miss out. Nick Greenhall has a couple of options in mind but there could be a place in the squad for promising youngster Greg Wills.
Scrum-half Jacques Olivier, who has been home to South Africa to visit his father who was unwell, is due back today and could meet up with the side to take a place on the bench. The back line could well be unchanged if there were no injuries reported. Kick-off at Ruislip is at the earlier time of 2.15pm.
The Raiders travel to play Diss III in their latest Eastern Counties 3N fixture.