Walsham face big challenge in west
North Walsham Vikings will spend two out of the next three weekends in the Bristol area, starting tomorrow when they are at Dings Crusaders. Just inside the top half of the table with four wins from their seven games, Dings are always a difficult side to beat on their own patch and many a well placed side have had their hopes and ambitions wiped out at Locklease.
North Walsham Vikings will spend two out of the next three weekends in the Bristol area, starting tomorrow when they are at Dings Crusaders.
Just inside the top half of the table with four wins from their seven games, Dings are always a difficult side to beat on their own patch and many a well placed side have had their hopes and ambitions wiped out at Locklease.
Just how tough they are can be gauged from the result when table-toppers Mounts Bay visited and just scraped a two-point win. Walsham have a decent record there, having won twice from four visits, but all have been tight games.
Last term's visit was close to the end of the season when much of the spark had left the squad and the performance was as disappointing as the narrow defeat.
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After the recent upheaval at Scottow, things are beginning to settle down and training and playing over the past 10 days or so have seen the side begin to lift themselves under the guidance of Steve Worrall, Dave Smith and Gideon Rossouw. Numbers are good for training and there is an abundance of enthusiasm and all three are delighted with the commitment being shown.
As usual there were injuries to keep the physios busy. Mark McCall failed to finish the Havant game, limping off with 20 minutes to go, and Luke Watts and Mike Fuller will be on standby. A severe attack of cramp signalled the end for Jamie Burroughs, and it was so severe that he left the ground on crutches.
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He was expected to take a fitness test last night. While Burroughs, normally a scrum half and Iain Young, more at home on the wing, have had games at outside half, the position cries out for a specialist and there is news of a possible signing to take the 10 shirt.
Chris Godwin, probably the most effective tackler in the side, was held back for an extra week but should finally re-appear at openside, so Adam Sel, who has filled the gap with distinction, may have to drop to the bench.
Work on defensive drills have obviously borne fruit as the try count last week shows while ball retention was also on a different level to that shown in recent weeks.
The Raiders, left without a fixture last week when Havant were unable to raise a team, have an away game at Southend in the Merit table.