Rested Vikings ready to resume battle

North Walsham Vikings are hoping a rest will be as good as a change this weekend when they resume their fight to get off the bottom of National League Division Three South.

North Walsham Vikings are hoping a rest will be as good as a change this weekend when they resume their fight to get off the bottom of National League Division Three South.

The Vikings were without a match last week, giving a few injuries time to heal and easing the traffic outside the physio's room on training nights.

Tomorrow they are back, with the visit of high-flying Canterbury to Scottow (3pm).

Team selection this week will in some respects be easier as the injury list dwindles but it could be a case of who to leave out in a couple of positions.


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Following the return home of prop Luke Kanuta there is vacancy on the tight head side, but the last couple of weeks has seen the return of Shaun Woodhouse after an absence of six seasons. He can play in either the front or back row, and, on the evidence of an outing for the Raiders last week, has not lost the ability to split defences. He would seem a logical choice up front, with Joe le Roux poised to take over. There is competition for the hooking berth, with Luke Watts challenging Mark McCall. Ollie Arnold, following a string of good performances, has still not recovered from the “dead leg” picked up at Clifton so Iain Beck will move up from the back row. Jason Applin has missed a couple of games with a wrist injury but should be fit to resume.

On the principle of “if it isn't broke don't fix it” Lee Sandberg is likely to get the start ahead of Carel Swanepoel at scrum-half. The centre partnership of Waldo de Jager and Jamie Burroughs looks better each week. The return of Rob Clymer on the wing offers a new dimension, but there is a straight choice on the other flank between Tom Holt and Iain Young. Skipper Andy Thorpe is unavailable so Adam Gowen, after six weeks out with a rib injury, could get the call.

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Canterbury are third in the table behind Mounts Bay and Cinderford, with a record of eight wins from 10 games - in stark contrast to Walsham, who have just the win against Luton to their name.

However, in recent weeks there have been signs of recovery and the Vikings showed at Clifton that the spirit and team work is in place. They should have been a couple of tries to the good in the first 10 minutes but found themselves 15 points adrift at the break. They hit Clifton really hard in the early minutes of the second period and were back on terms on the hour before a couple of penalties proved their undoing.

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