Walsham face another big test against side in third position

North Walsham on their way to a big win over Barking in their last home match.

North Walsham on their way to a big win over Barking in their last home match. - Credit: Archant

Following an excellent but ultimately losing performance against leaders Tring last weekend North Walsham face another daunting task in London One North when they play host to third-placed Chingford.

Having given such a good account of themselves in the 27-10 defeat against a side with a 100pc record, the Vikings will be looking to show that what was arguably their worst showing of the season down in Essex in October was an aberration.

In truth, the 40-16 loss probably brought home to the squad that there is no substitute for honest endeavour and team work, two things most evident in their recent performances. The Essex side have a decent record this term, their only losses coming against Tring and Eton Manor, but they have also had a couple of close calls and a draw against strugglers Sudbury was a strange result.

They might conceivably have been affected by the deduction of five points, which drops them behind Chingford in the fight for a play-off place. That alone will make them even more determined to keep battling while there is a chance of achieving that aim.

James Brooks would have hoped to keep his selection pretty much unchanged but instead will have to shuffle the pack again. Second row Guy Salzedo played his final game at Tring before heading back to Australia and the most likely scenario is that Tom Coller, who had a good run with the Raiders last week, will return to partner Jono Lawson in the second row. Another definite change is that Tom Browes will move to hooker in place of Mark Mccall, who has a hairline fracture of a bone in his foot. Jonny Masters is likely to be front row cover on the bench.

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With Mike Hendry away either Ethan Benney or Mike Braans is likely to fill the gap on the wing, but another option would be to give Braans a start, allowing Jake Duffield to have a break on the bench.

Before the game prop Tom Browes will be presented with his 100-cap green blazer by club president Dave Horne.

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The Raiders will kick off at 2pm giving any early arrivals a chance to see half of what is likely to be a stern test against old rivals Diss II, currently the closest challengers to league leaders Fakenham.

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