Old Streetonians 14, North Walsham 52

Vikings' Shane van Vuuren makes light work of an opponent.

Vikings' Shane van Vuuren makes light work of an opponent. - Credit: Archant

North Walsham rounded off a superb season in appropriate style as they recorded an emphatic win in this rearranged London 2NE fixture.

The wonderful spring scene at Hackney Marshes was a contrast to the snow which had caused the postponement of the original match last month and led to an open, expansive game of rugby.

Playing initially with the brisk breeze Vikings struck two early blows with converted tries from Pena Sokia, following good interpassing in the backs, and Henry Dewing, who exposed a flat defence by gathering his own chip kick.

Throughout the match Vikings were quicker at recycling the ball, offloading and exploiting open spaces. The third try came after 15 minutes when Will Hodgson gathered the ball at a breakdown and fed Shane Van Vuuren who outstripped a struggling defence. Streetonians were then able to exert pressure with some pick and drives to score under the posts to make the score 7-19 at the end of a fast and furious first quarter.

Lee Sandberg's darting run resulted in a smart individual try which was quickly followed by determined individual work from Chad Seeley. He was fed the ball on the short side after Vikings had disrupted a put-in and fought off two strong tackles before beating a cover tackler to score under the posts. Another conversion for Dewing brought the score to 31-7, which became 38-7 at half-time with a long run in from Will Hodgson.

The first half had been very fast and after an outstanding defensive and attacking display No. 8 Sokia was substituted early. Within five minutes Tom Coller broke, not for the first time, from loose play and fed to Chris Hamilton, who had a good match, to drag a tackler over the line. Streetonians had worked out that continuously throwing the ball about, whilst enjoyable for spectators, was causing them problems and they began to play a much tighter game. As the final quarter began scrum-half Chris McAtominey darted over from a five metre scrum to make it 14-45.

Coach Nick Greenhall now found himself making a cameo appearance at full back as replacement for the injured Hodgson and the team responded by letting him have the ball at every opportunity. There was time for a typical Chris Kent try as he took tacklers over the line.

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With no positions at stake, this was an enjoyable match for all, played in excellent spirit and well refereed by Geoff Howells.