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North Walsham take on bottom side South Woodham Ferrers at Scottow

PUBLISHED: 07:47 02 February 2018

Mike Braans gets North Walsham moving in the right direction at Amersham. Picture: Hywel Jones

Mike Braans gets North Walsham moving in the right direction at Amersham. Picture: Hywel Jones

Chasing Rainbows

A tough start to the new year has seen North Walsham slip back down to seventh place in London One North in what is one of the tightest competitions for several seasons.

Four games, three against top-half sides, have resulted in a win, two defeats and a draw, but tomorrow presents a real opportunity to get back on track when Essex side South Woodham Ferrers make their first visit to Scottow.

Having been promoted at the end of the 2016-17 season they have struggled almost from the outset of the current campaign. Their record shows just two wins, both at home back in September, and they are currently bottom of the table, six points behind fellow strugglers Letchworth, who conceded 134 points at leaders Brentwood last week.

In the away fixture the Vikings came out 43-5 winners but they will be well aware that any complacency can be quickly punished.

Coach James Brooks was not unhappy with the performance or commitment last week as the Vikings went down 25-7 at third-placed Amersham & Chiltern but will probably be looking for a bit more composure from his side.

The departure of Hal Riley to Stourbridge coupled with an injury to James Knight meant that Will Hodgson had to move from back row to inside centre, which is a position he has filled many times in the past but is not his natural slot.

He could be able to return to the pack this weekend if James Knight has recovered from his broken wrist.

But if Knight is not fit then Harry Downing should be back to either go into the centre or to outside half, allowing Mike Braans to move into the centre. If Hodgson has to stay in the back line the pack could remain unchanged although Tom Browes will be back to take over in the front row if the need arises.

There’s a double header at Scottow, with the Raiders playing host to Shelford III. Their game kicks off at 2pm, with the first team fixture starting at 3pm.

Diss will be aiming to put a disappointing 26-5 home defeat at the hands of Old Priorians behind them tomorrow when they travel to the outskirts of London to take on Eton Manor.

Their opponents are currently fifth in the table, having won 11 of their 17 games so far.

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