North Walsham open league season with 63-14 away win
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham Vikings make an excellent start to the new London One North season on Saturday when they recorded a comprehensive 63-14 win at Woodford.
On a warm afternoon the hosts made a bright start and drove over from a line-out after just five minutes to take the lead.
Going behind to newly promoted opposition provoked the Vikings into furious action. From the restart Woodford were penalised and Matt Hodgson kicked down to the 10 for a lineout. After another penalty and lineout Dan Smith slid over in the corner for a converted try.
The next try was a real lesson to young players. Woodford cleared their lines with a long kick which eventually trickled over the Vikings' try line. James Knight ambled back to fetch it and strolled towards the 22, with Woodford wrongly thinking he had touched down for a drop-out. When he got to the 22 Knight switched on the pace, streaking through Woodford's defence before offloading to his strong support. The ball eventually got to Jake Duffield who scored under the posts.
Three more excellent tries followed in the first half, punctuated by an incident involving Duffield who took exception to a Woodford defender putting his arms through a ruck on to the ball. His reaction to the transgression earned him a yellow card.
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Turning round 7-35 down, the start of the second half was another good period for Woodford. They garnered possession and position but the Vikings ran in another couple of tries before they clawed the score back to 14-49.
The visitors then finished the game off. Jim Riley collected a precision kick to trot over and then debutant Ethan Sikorski was picked out from a supporting horde to fly in for the final try.
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A final score of 14-63 was a bit harsh on Woodford - although they did let the Vikings run in nine converted tries. Riley and Smith both touched down twice while Dan Bird, James Cherry, Duffield, Hodgson and Sikorski scored once.
For his unceasing efforts Dane Canning was named Coltishall Red Lion player of the match by head of rugby Johnny Marsters.
The Raiders were also at Woodford and concede a late interception try to draw 14-14.