Stevenage 8, North Walsham 60

North Walsham were well in control throughout this game, scoring five tries in each half, and went top of London 2NE on points difference as a result.

The Vikings were on the board within four minutes as Tom Coller touched down by the right upright with Freddie Henley-Hunter converting.

Dean Blyth missed a chance minutes later when he lost the ball going over the goal line.

The Walsham forwards had a stranglehold in the set-pieces and Leon Davies, Mark McCall and Ben Campbell were everywhere in the loose. The new-look back line occasionally picked the wrong option and one of these led to a Town penalty, for not releasing, converted by their best player, full back Gareth Lewis.

The first of several rolling mauls led to a try for Stuart Loose, and then one for Chris Kent, both converted by Henley-Hunter.


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New Vikings' outside half Garry Phelps kept the pack going forward with accurate kicks to touch, leading to another pick and drive score, the fourth try, all within 30 minutes, this time for Chris Godwin. The conversion was missed.

Stevenage outside centre Matthew Smith then had a run, coming back inside from the left, to break through Jon Younie's tackle for an unconverted try. The home side forced the Vikings into giving away a series of penalties in the middle of the park, before Kurt Benney in the Walsham centre crossed the line, for Henley-Hunter to convert, leaving the half-time score at 8-33.

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Three minutes after the restart, Blyth broke up the middle, putting Walsham captain Andy Tibbatts in under the posts. Henley-Hunter duly converted and was then replaced by Shawn Cahill on the left wing, while Dom Roberts came on for McCall.

Centre Will Hodgson got a deserved solo try on 49 minutes, but his own conversion kick from in front of the posts was charged down by Town replacement Gareth Wall. Tom Williams then came on at open side, replacing Chris Kent in the pack.

Phelps got the next touchdown, which Hodgson couldn't convert, before Tibbatts went over for his second of the afternoon, also unconverted. Six minutes from time right wing Will Quinn was the ninth individual to cross for a try, again unconverted.

Coach Nick Greenhall, whose side have started the season with three wins out of four, was pleased with the better leadership and motivation shown, and hopes the discipline can be held under pressure, against stronger upcoming opposition.

Although he wants at least three place kickers able to hit the posts and kick down the line, the players are doing kicking key skills in their own time. His coaching priority is how the team manages the game on the field, with emphasis on how they play, plus stressing the need to score four tries.

n North Walsham's second string made it a good weekend for the club with a solid 44-12 Merit Table win over a hard-working Fakenham side . They ran in six tries to Fakenham's two with the scores coming from Danny Bergham, Matty Norfolk-Clarke, Gerald Hegarty, Jack Dove and Harry Downing who both crossed twice. Dove added three conversions and Ollie Dyke one penalty.

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