Barnes Match Preview

09/29/20230

The Vikings play yet another of National 2 East’s leading sides this weekend with second placed Barnes visiting Scottow Park.

Runners up to Blackheath in 2022 -23, the South West London team have made a great start to this campaign with wins over Esher, Wimbledon and Worthing before last week losing 29 – 31 home to leaders Dorking, having conceded three tries in the first 15 minutes.

All their matches have been high scoring affairs, the average combined score per match being 74. “It’s yet another very tough one for our young squad, September’s fixture list has been the hardest possible,” said Niall Lear. “Barnes are a very good side. They are a big physical team and they’ll be looking to bounce back after the loss to Dorking.”

There will be changes to the Vikings squad though how many will be dependent on the progress of a few players with short term injuries. Charlie Fethney is definitely out though until November and his no 8 slot will go to Leo Langbridge, with Hudson de Lucchi starting as blindside flanker. Pieter de Lange was also injured at Henley so Kit Brodie comes into the squad as does Mark McCall. There could be debut for second row Finn Hughes, Man of the Match for the Raiders last week.

Barnes did the double over the Vikings last season winning 10 – 36 in Norfolk in October and the February return fixture 38 – 19. The latter was regarded as one of the Vikings best performances of the season, the winning margin rather flattering the hosts.

Barnes are likely to include Ethan “Doc” Sikorski who joined them from North Walsham this Summer after moving to London for work reasons. The Polish international flanker/hooker made nearly 70 appearances for the Vikings after joining in 2019 – 20, and last season was the Vikings second highest try score with 12, one less than Dan Smith.

The Raiders are also at home on Saturday, taking on their Bury St Edmunds counterparts in Eastern Counties One. That match kicks off at 2.30, half an hour ahead of the Vikings’ game.

Paul Morse

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At North Walsham Rugby Club, our 1st XV (Vikings) are playing at National 2 level. Mini and Youth Rugby caters for Under 6s to U18s. Three Senior Men’s teams. Senior Women’s in affiliation with UEA ladies rugby. Four Girls teams Under12s, 14s, 16s and 18s.

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