North Walsham and Diss go head to head in London 1N derby at Scottow
- Credit: Archant
Saturday will be one of those days that supporters of local rugby relish, with the county's two highest ranked clubs, North Walsham and Diss, locking horns at Scottow (3pm).
Fortunes of the sides have been on a different level this season, with the Vikings firmly entrenched in the top three of London 1N and Diss languishing at the bottom and still searching for their first win of the campaign.
Vikings' coach Johnny Marsters is likely to put league positions and local rivalry at the back of his thoughts but will be conscious that, for the players, the fixture holds more significance. Recent history shows that in the majority of their meetings the Vikings have had the upper hand but in the away fixture last season they took a big lead into the break and then had to hang on to win by just two points. If they have managed to build a lead they must not relax this time around.
Wing/full back Jake Duffield lasted just six minutes of last week's hard-fought win at HAC before leaving the field with a hamstring injury that is likely to keep him out for at least six weeks. Influential flanker Roydon Miller suffered bruising to his hip and if he fails to make it then Ed Sampson, who impressed when coming on as a replacement last week, will step in.
Also unavailable for family reasons is lock Ryan Oakes whose place will most likely be taken by Dan Bird, out last weekend with a back strain. The loss of Duffield is likely to be covered by the return of Donavin Dejongh, who was unable to travel last week.
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For those who arrive early there is the opportunity to watch the first half of the Raiders' Eastern Counties 1N game with Lowestoft & Yarmouth, which kicks off at 2pm. Following last weekend's 19-17 defeat at Beccles, when coach Aaron Beaumont had to deal with multiple changes and a couple of unfamiliar combinations, some returnees should provide a boost against the league's bottom team.
Diss will have a point to prove, with their latest defeat being a painful 36-8 home reverse against fellow strugglers Ruislip.
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North Walsham (from): T Browes, T Knight, L Brown-Bates, W Hodgson, D Bird, M Travers, W Swart, C Godwin, R Miller, E Sampson, L Thomson, M Hodgson, J Knight, J Milligan, D Dejongh, J Riley, M Braans, N Rokodinono, V Vurewa, J Parker.