North Walsham will need to be at their best against league leaders

Mike Braans on the ball for North Walsham during their defeat at Old Haberdashers. Picture: Hywel Jo

Mike Braans on the ball for North Walsham during their defeat at Old Haberdashers. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

North Walsham will have to be on top form if they are to get points from their game against London One North leaders Brentwood at Scottow on Saturday.

The Essex side have been in the top two since the start of the season but are still just a single point clear of Chingford.

In the away fixture the Vikings lost 27-10 but put in a full 80 minute performance. In contrast in recent fixtures they have tended to fall away after the break, coming close to allowing Diss to steal a win and losing their way at Old Haberdashers, going from 7-3 up at half-time to 10-20 at the final whistle.

It is difficult to see what is causing this second half drop-off but no doubt coach James Brooks will be addressing it.

There were no reported injuries from last week to worry about although Brooks will be without prop Tom Browes and wing Jim Riley, who no doubt like many others had made other arrangements, expecting this to be a Saturday off before snow forced a re-arrangement.

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Dane Canning and Dan Smith, both unavailable last week, will be their replacements. Kick-off is at 3pm.

The Raiders, who had a tough game against Ipswich YM last week, travel to Hadleigh and like the Vikings are missing some key players. They can expect a hard time as all the teams they are playing in the latter part of the season are first XVs normally comprising some very experienced players. That said it is a great opportunity for those transitioning from youth to adult rugby to gain experience.

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North Walsham (from): A Downing, W Swart, L Brown-Bates, R Oakes, R Miller, T Scotland, C Godwin, T Knight, W Hodgson, J Duffield, J Knight, M Braans, H Downing, J Brown, L Thomson, J, Mustard. D.Smith. D.Canning. T.Weber.

North Walsham Raiders (from): J Callendar, D Foster, T Coller, M Batty, L Haylett, G Masdin, N Bensley, M Mulhall, H Downing, E Jones, V Vurewa, H Dye, G Isbell, C Oakes, S Hayward, R King, T Hudson, S Jokini.

Diss hit the road to take on Saffron Walden, who are immediately below them in London One North table, with 16 fewer points to their name. The game between the two sides at Mackenders back in November ended in a 34-34 draw.

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