North Walshan run rampant, but Diss fail to build on good start

Donavin Dejongh scoring for North Walsham against Southend Picture: Hywel Jones

Donavin Dejongh scoring for North Walsham against Southend Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

North Walsham withstood a torrid opening quarter of an hour, and went behind, before turning on the style and running in nine scintillating tries, with a hat-trick for man of the match Jim Riley, to beat Southend Saxons 57-17.

Joe Milligan in action for North Walsham against Southend Picture: Hywel Jones

Joe Milligan in action for North Walsham against Southend Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

Up against another larger pack, head of rugby Johnny Marsters was pleased the work on the set-piece in training allowed the home forwards to give his backs decent ball.

Southend scrum-half Harry Branch was throwing in at the lineout and Walsham were down to 14 men as visiting prop Will Cooper touched down to open the scoring, Ross Stalley adding the conversion.

The Vikings eventually got into the opposition 22 after 16 minutes as Riley burst through the cover to score under the posts, Matt Hodgson converting.

Riley then gathered a kick ahead, brushed off the tacklers for converted score number two.

Matt Hodgson in possession for North Walsham during their win over Southend Picture: Hywel Jones

Matt Hodgson in possession for North Walsham during their win over Southend Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant


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Lachlan Brown-Bates was next over the line after good work by the forwards, centre Joe Milligan adding another try three minutes later to guarantee them the bonus point.

Milligan then ran half the length of the field to put Donavin Dejongh away for try number five.

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Milligan, Riley and Hodgson were all almost to the line again before half time, the Vikings turning round 33-7 in front.

After the break, Will Hodgson came off the back of the lineout to take try number six, converted by brother Matt, before Walsham were held up over the line, Southend turning the ball over, for Branch to clear up field.

James Riley in action for North Walsham in their win over Southend Picture: Hywell Jones

James Riley in action for North Walsham in their win over Southend Picture: Hywell Jones - Credit: Archant

Blindside Roydon Miller was in next for Walsham as the visitors continued to go down like nine pins.

The Vikings emptied the substitutes' bench for the final quarter as Southend lost the ball, allowing Riley to show electric pace, covering two thirds of the pitch to bring up the 50 points, Jake Duffield converting.

Walsham then rotated both backs and forwards before Miller scored his second try.

Southend came back into contention for the final 10minutes, but couldn't add to the scoreboard.

James Riley in action for North Walsham in their win over Southend Picture: Hywell Jones

James Riley in action for North Walsham in their win over Southend Picture: Hywell Jones - Credit: Archant

Vikings: Braans, Dejongh, Milligan, Knight, Riley, Hodgson (Duffield 58), Thomson, Brown-Bates, Swart, Browes (Canning 58), Oakes, Travers, Miller, Godwin, (Knight 56), Hodgson.

Scorers: Tries: Riley (3), Miller (2), Brown-Bates, Milligan, Dejongh, Hodgson.

Conversions: Hodgson (5), Duffield.

James Riley in action for North Walsham in their win over Southend Picture: Hywell Jones

James Riley in action for North Walsham in their win over Southend Picture: Hywell Jones - Credit: Archant

Sudbury 52 Diss 3

A positive start to the game following a superb turnover from John Bergin and a Chris Beaird penalty augured well for the visitors in this bottom of the table clash.

But, yet again, while Diss showed determination and a collective spirit throughout the game, they lost possession at crucial times and in areas of the field that allowed Sudbury to attack through their dangerous three-quarter line.

Sudbury scored two early tries following weak Diss tackling and inability to yet again secure clean possession from the line-out.

James Riley in action for North Walsham in their win over Southend Picture: Hywell Jones

James Riley in action for North Walsham in their win over Southend Picture: Hywell Jones - Credit: Archant

On a number of occasions Diss had worked hard to establish attacking positions close to the Sudbury line to then see possession stolen from their own line out.

A third Sudbury try from a driving maul following a well-established line-out was soon followed by a fourth try on 25 minutes.

Diss then enjoyed a period of continuity and ball retention that should have resulted in the reward of points.

Jake Girdler, John Bergin and Matt Richards all strived hard to work the ball into attacking positions. Dominating possession for over 15 minutes should have resulted in points for Diss, but a lack of precision and confidence meant that half-time arrived with no reward.

Solid Sudbury defence coupled with an ability to capitalise on Diss handling errors allowed the home side to score tries at random.

Led by Jamie Burroughs and Marco Mongia, Diss drove deep into the Sudbury half on numerous occasions in a vain attempt to restore some sort of pride to the proceedings.

As the Diss forwards drove close to the breakdown and dominated the scrummage, points should have been secured.

Unfortunately, a lack of basic handling skills and continuity allowed Sudbury to capitalise within the last quarter of the game.

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