Rugby preview: North Walsham heading into unknown territory to strengthen grip on top spot

North Walsham's James Knight is a doubt for their London 1N clash at Harpenden. Picture: Hywel Jones

North Walsham's James Knight is a doubt for their London 1N clash at Harpenden. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

Leaders North Walsham Vikings head into unknown territory when they make their first ever trip to Harpenden tomorrow in London 1N.

The Hertfordshire club were promoted into London One North via the playoffs at the end of last season, and have done well so far with fives wins and four losses.

Having lost those four games they have had two resounding wins against strugglers Ruislip and last week against Woodford to sit comfortably in mid table.

On the injury front it will be later in the week before things become clear. The only visible obvious injury last week was to full back James Knight who limped off after an hour and he will no doubt be seeing the physios and taking a break from training in order to get back. At this stage the only known change is likely to be the return of Ethan Sikorski in place of Donavin Dejongh who has work commitments.

London Two North East pacesetters Norwich face a banana skin when they entertain Wanstead.

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The visitors have given Lee Parry's side problems in the past and Norwich will know they have to improve upon the penalty count they totted up in the win over Ipswich when only the stout defence got them through.

Director of Rugby, David Everitt said: "We have to accept that individual referees can interpret the laws differently and adjust to how the are applying them, so that we don't give away easy points to the opposition. Head Coach, Lee Parry has had a stern words with the squad and the emphasis at training has been on tackling low, discipline, concentration at the set pieces and winning the contact area legally. From there we can move forward to produce the sort of performance that we are capable of."

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The squad will be the same as last week with the likely exception of JJ Raven who had a recurrence of an injury at Ipswich, that had kept him out since the Diss game. His replacement is yet to be decided.

Second-placed Diss travel to Stowmarket, buoyed by last weekend's win against South Woodham Ferrers, aware that Southwold, in third will be eager to capitalise on any slip-up. Wold travel to South Woodham tomorrow whist Wymondham entertain Epping Upper Clacton.

In London Three West Norfolk head to Thurston looking to strengthen their grip on top spot whilst Fakenham entertain Beccles. Crusaders head to Wisbech and Thetford welcome Cantabrigian.

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