North Walsham aiming to bounce back from first defeat of season

North Walsham's Lachlan Brown-Bates cuts through two Colchester defenders during Saturday's defeat a

North Walsham's Lachlan Brown-Bates cuts through two Colchester defenders during Saturday's defeat at Scottow Picture: HYWEL JONES - Credit: Archant

North Walsham will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season when they entertain Old Priorians in London 1N on Saturday.

The Vikings always knew last week's game against Colchester would be a tough one and although they came out pointless the quality of their defence was such that the visitors failed to get the bonus point.

Coach Johnny Marsters, allowed out of hospital for the afternoon, would have been impressed by the effort the players expended and having viewed the video will no doubt be making his thoughts available to James Knight and Ryan Oakes, who are keeping things on the boil until he can return.

Selection of the squad has again been difficult, with changes in both forwards and backs. Up front hooker Tom Knight is unavailable but Will Swart has recovered from the dead leg picked up last week and is expected to move forward from the flank.

Dan Bird, who came off the bench last week and picked up the man-of-the-match award, is likely to move to the second row, with skipper Will Hodgson reclaiming his favoured No 8 shirt.

In the back line, centre Taare Ferris will be out for several months having had surgery for a damaged knee tendon and Dan Smith, who made his return last week, pulled up in Tuesday's training session and is also out. It is hoped that, subject to paperwork being completed, new recruit Joe Milligan will partner James Knight in the centre. Winger Rob King, away last week, will also return.

Old Priorians have invariably proved difficult opponents for the Vikings, last season taking the win at Scottow when the Vikings were not on top of their game. In the reverse fixture the Vikings came out on top 38-31. This season OPs have won three from five, with a slight points deficit.

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North Walsham (from): F Scott, T Browes, L Brown-Bates, D Canning, W Hodgson, R Oakes, M Travers, D Bird, W Swart, C Godwin, R Miller, L Thomson, M Hodgson, J Knight, J Milligan, R King, D Dejongh, J Duffield.

Diss continue their search for a first win of the season when they entertain Old Haberdashers, who have won three and lost two so far. Despite a brave show Diss lost 69-7 at leaders Rochford Hundred last week.

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