Vikings ready for a battle

After a long haul last week North Walsham have the first of two successive home games tomorrow, with Dings Crusaders providing the opposition - and tough opposition it will be too.

After a long haul last week North Walsham have the first of two successive home games tomorrow, with Dings Crusaders providing the opposition - and tough opposition it will be too.

The Bristol-based side are always hard to overcome and most of their games this season have been close. But they have finished in front just twice, with a draw and three defeats to complete their record.

They have had three seasons in the National Leagues, finishing eighth in the last two.

On five of the six occasions that the sides have met Walsham have come out on top five times with the only defeat at Locklease last season, although Jon Curry's men exacted suitable revenge in the return leg, winning 46-5.


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Much happier with last week's performance, Curry will now be hoping to get a settled side for the next few fixtures. He knows however that he will be without the services of Andy Thorpe and Lee Sandberg, both of whom picked up injuries last week.

A fit again Arthur Delport should replace Sandberg with Rob Clymer, a replacement last week, starting in place of Thorpe.

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With Chris Godwin back in full training there will be hard decisions facing Curry and backs' coach Steve Worrell.

Once he got back into his stride last week a rejuvenated Chris Borrett appeared to be the catalyst that sparked the Vikings' revival and with the strong tackling Sokia outside him the centre field looks better balanced, so Godwin could be in contention for one of the wing berths.

Up front Stuart Loose has been training and is hopeful that he will take some part in the game.

Last week Walsham were grateful to Lowestoft and Yarmouth for the loan of Wayne Nixon but it was just for the one week and if Loose fails to make it then there could be a start for new signing Eddie Wallace.

Competition for the back five scrum positions is hotting up, with Iain Beck returning although with Josh Reeves still out the choice of partner rests between Mike Howard and Ollie Arnold.

Similarly the back row selection will mean disappointment for someone, with last week's incumbents Sam Herrington, Faleone Seve and Juan Pablo Pistone being linked in the selectors' minds with Jacques Potgieter.

The Raiders, who defeated a Wymondham side last week to record their first win of the season, should have faced Barking but the Essex side have asked for the game to be played on the 28th so instead they travel to Crusaders.

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