North Walsham run in 10 tries in impressive away victory

Ryan Oakes stretches for the line as North Walsham pile the pressure on Ruislip. Picture: Hywel Jone

Ryan Oakes stretches for the line as North Walsham pile the pressure on Ruislip. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

This was an outstanding victory for North Walsham - winning away is hard enough but doing so by 59 points after a long January journey is a huge achievement.

With their big mobile pack Ruislip were no slouches and at half-time, at 22-5, were still in it.

The Vikings' second-half performance was superb though, with six tries adding to the first half's four. The win was based on doing the basics incisively, but they were so decisive too, spotting, with devastating effect, when attacks could be launched from unlikely situations.

The first score arrived in the 16th minute, Ryan Oakes diving over following a patient build-up. Three tries followed in the next 10 minutes. Ruislip drew level through Mike Reed before Will Hodgson regained the lead with an amazing try, evading or driving through seven tackles from 40 metres. A try so indicative of the Vikings' qualities then followed: pressure yielded turnover ball deep in their 22, defence became attack and after four quick passes Hal Riley galloped over from halfway.

Five minutes before the break they got their fourth, Harry Downing's long run ultimately leading to Dan Smith scoring and Jake Duffield converting.

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After repelling some late pressure in the first half the lead was extended within a minute of the restart. From a quick tap penalty 15 metres inside his half, Duffield made ground and after two breakdowns James Knight found Jim Riley on his inside who burst between two defenders, Duffield converting.

Two tries in three minutes then took the score to 43-5. A trademark Hodgson run carried on by Will Swart led to a Harry Downing try which he converted, as he did the next four – one from the touchline. For the second Hodgson put in a penetrating cross kick, the chase and tackling were exemplary and Ed Sampson burrowed over.

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Three converted tries in the final five minutes from Smith, Chalk Hill Brewery man-of-the-match Roydon Miller and Duffield completed the scoring, each showing the speed, support running, passing and off loading that were hallmarks of a memorable victory.

Coach James Brooks said it was an 'outstanding performance, we were very solid defensively throughout and so clinical in the second half'.

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