Walsham determined to put defeat behind them

Tony MarcantonioNorth Walsham's hopes of making it three wins in a row disappeared with a poor performance last week so it is back with a fresh start tomorrow when Portsmouth are the visitors to Scottow (3pm).Tony Marcantonio

North Walsham's hopes of making it three wins in a row disappeared with a poor performance last week so it is back with a fresh start tomorrow when Portsmouth are the visitors to Scottow (3pm).

Once again there is not just the need to win but to win well and try and get the much needed bonus point and at the same time erase the memory of the away defeat. When the sides met in October the result was a win for the Hampshire side 19-10 but Walsham had enough territorial advantage in that game to have won, and won comfortably.

Instead they infringed so much that even when attacking they conceded penalties and got themselves shifted back down the field when they should have been pressuring Portsmouth's line. Then, with a bonus point in the bag, they conceded a soft try which saw them return home empty handed.

That win was just one of three that Portsmouth have managed this season and they are currently three places above bottom side Tring and have yet to register a win on the road.


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The inevitable changes include the replacement of prop Alex Soutar who missed the second half last week with a neck injury. Mark McCall is likely to move across to replace him, with Gideon Rossouw going to hooker and Dom Roberts coming on to the bench.

The hard working and largely unsung second row of Josh Reeves and Leon Davies continue but there could be a change at openside if the registration of young Kiwi Ed Harcourt comes through, with Pena Sokia moving to No 8.

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Behind the pack there could also be changes. Justin Loveridge missed the Stortford game with a slight hamstring injury which has responded to treatment and should resume alongside Lee Sandberg, although young Rhys Davies-Horne could be in the selectors' vision.

Adie Ball, who filled in at outside half, will probably return to the wing which would mean that Tom Holt, having missed two weeks, might have to take a rare turn on the bench.

NorthWalsham Warriors are away to Diss III.

t Diss are in action at Mackenders for the first time in seven weeks when they play host to Haywards Heath in a important match in the lower reaches of the table (2.15pm).

The visitors fromSussex have an identical league record to Diss this season - four wins and 12 defeats - but have seven fewer points to their name.

Diss have to play the four teams below them in the league before the end of the season, starting at the weekend, so a win here will go a long way towards easing any fears of relegation.

The hosts, who will be looking to recover from last week's heavy defeat away at high-flying Old Albanians, welcome back Ollie Marriott in the second row as well as Warren Wilby and Alex Kelsall in the backs.

Diss Saracens, like the first and thirds, are also in action at Mackenders tomorrow. As they are without a league fixture they play host to a Norwich XV in a friendly.

t Diss player Elliott Page has been picked to represent England's U19 colleges side against Wales at Portcawl Rugby Club on February 14.

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