High-flying North Walsham expecting a tough test from visitors Brentwood
- Credit: Archant
North Walsham return to Scottow on Saturday for what could be their toughest task of the season so far against Brentwood.
North Walsham return to Scottow tomorrow for what could be their toughest task of the season so far against Brentwood.
The Vikings have maximum points in London One North but will be up against a side who have won three out of four, with a home defeat at the hands of Southend the only blot on their record.
The records for past meetings show that the Essex side have been dominant, with an unbroken run of seven wins prior to their promotion as champions at the end of the 2017-18 season.
Their time playing at the higher level proved to be an unhappy one however and they went straight back down along with Shelford and Chingford.
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Vikings' coach Johnny Marsters should have the luxury of having to make minimal changes as there do not appear to have been any injuries last week, the early replacement of scrum-half Jake Duffield being probably just precautionary.
Centre Joe Milligan has family commitments with the likelihood being that Dan Smith will move in from the wing, with either Jon Younie or Jordan Mustard taking the 14 shirt.
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North Walsham (from): D Canning, T Knight, T Browes, G Youngs, R Oakes, D Bird, W Swart, D Dejongh, E Sikorski, E Sampson, J Duffield, M Hodgson, J Riley, C Anthony, D Smith, J Knight, J Younie, J Mustard.
There is a big derby match to look forward to, with Wymondham hosting Diss in probably the biggest fixture to be staged at Barnard Fields since the new ground was opened last October.
Diss go into the derby on the crest of a wave, having taken maximum points from three games under new coach Nick Greenhall to provide the perfect response to a dismal campaign at a higher level in 2018-19.
Wymondham have also made a solid start since coming up, winning their first two games before losing a tough fixture at Stowmarket 32-7 last time out.
Norwich, who start the day a point behind Diss after also winning their first three games, know they will also face a big test when they welcome Stowmarket to Beeston Hyrne,
Last Saturday Norwich recovered from a poor first half to maintain their promising start with a 27-16 win at South Woodham Ferrers.
"There were some strong words from the senior players at half-time and they came out fired up and showed the patience and composure that had been missing and came home with a well deserved win," said director of rugby David Everitt. "It was pleasing to see the set-pieces going well and us producing quality ball that the backs could use to gain territory and put SWF under pressure, then putting phases together to score three excellent tries.
"Against Stowmarket we must be at our best and not allow ourselves to be overly adventurous but stick to doing the basics well, create pressure and sticking to the game plan with patience and composure. Then the points will look after themselves."
Holt will be determined to get their first points on the board when they welcome Wanstead to Bridge Road. Last Saturday they suffered their second heavy away defeat, going down 62-15 at Romford and Gidea Park. Despite this Holt had their moments, scoring three well taken tries through Ollie Woodrow, Gareth May and captain Henry Harrison.
"We have a young talented squad but need adapt to the pace of the game in this higher league," said chairman Martyn Jackson. "Our situation is not helped by the fact that we have inherited long-term injuries from last season. We are without at least seven of last season's regulars who we hope will be returning in the next few weeks."
Southwold, who like Norwich have taken 14 points from three games, travel to Saffron Walden.
Early frontrunners West Norfolk travel to a Crusaders side who will have a big point to prove after being hammered 111-3 at Ely last week.
The same could said of Beccles who will be attempting to put a 102-0 drubbing at Cantabrgian behind them when they visit Wisbech.
Elsewhere Thetford host Thurston and Fakenham entertain Woodbridge.
There's an intriguing fixture in Division 1N, with Norwich Union entertaining fellow unbeaten side North Walsham Raiders.
In the other top flight games Holt and Wymondham seconds meet at Bridge Road, Diss II host Norwich Medics and Watton entertain Norwich II.