Match Report – Vikings Vs. Canterbury – 11th November, 2023

11/12/20230

North Walsham Vikings 10 Canterbury 54

Another difficult day for the Vikings. After soaking up lots of pressure and taking their limited scoring opportunities with aplomb, the halftime scoreline of 10 – 16 suggested they were in with a chance of their first victory but Canterbury, their huge pack dominant, overwhelmed them in the second half with six unanswered tries.

The pattern of the game was quickly established with virtually all the play in the home half, the visitors enjoying abundant possession. Canterbury’s strength at the scrums and lineouts was soon very evident, the hosts regularly conceding penalties or getting slow ball at the former and often under pressure at the latter.

The Vikings compounded their difficulties with handling errors and missing touch both from open play and penalties. Nevertheless, their first half defence was very solid, keeping their line intact for example through five drives following a five metre tapped penalty, and after the first quarter all Canterbury had to show for their efforts was penalties from Frank Reynolds in the third and fifteenth minutes. In the twenty third minute they stretched their lead to 13: the Vikings were penalised at a scrum 10 metres inside their half, kick to the corner and Tyler Oliver was driven over from the lineout in copybook style for a converted try.

The nature of the game then changed, albeit briefly. Canterbury produced a rare fast flowing handling move that took them from halfway to the Vikings’ line but a great tackle from Lacons Brewery Man of the Match Charlie Fethney saved the day. Then, ten minutes from the break, the Vikings, having hardly been out of their half, suddenly scored. The alert Henly Brightman pounced on a wayward Canterbury pass 60 metres out and, after rapid passing between the Langbridge brothers, Connor Dudley and Fethney, Tawanda Kandemwa raced 40 metres for the try; Ross Magnus converted. Another Reynolds penalty soon restored order but Magnus cancelled this out with a long distance penalty on the stroke of half time.

The second half was very different. Canterbury were far more clinical than in the first, upping their pace and improving their ball retention, whilst the Vikings lost their defensive shape and kept making basic errors and conceding penalties – well into the twenties across the match. Three converted tries – James Stephens and a brace for Shay Kerry – took Canterbury to 10 – 37 after 55 minutes, leaving the Vikings with an impossible mountain to climb. They stemmed the flow somewhat thereafter but tries for Alfie Orris, Frank Morgan and Garry Jones followed, Reynolds converting one to give him a tally of 19 points for the match.

 

“It’s really tough, Canterbury deserved their points” said Niall Lear. “We were good in the first half but need to put in an 80 minute performance and cut out the basic errors. Mistakes always get punished at this level.” Next week it’s third placed Esher away.

Team: 15. Ross Magnus 14. Wes McGuire 13. Dan Smith 12. Leo Langbridge 11. Tawanda Kandemwa 10. Harry Langbridge 9. Connor Dudley 1. Tim Weber 2. Pieter de Lange 3. Henly Brightman 4. Hudson de Lucchi 5. Ethan Holmwood 6. Billy Tait 7. Jobe Brooks 8. Charlie Fethney

Interchanges:

Archie Bryan/ Leo Langbridge (half time)

Harry Dye/McGuire (49 mins)

Mark McCall/de Lange (56 mins)

Callum Howe/Brightman (56 mins)

Benji Hewitt/Magnus (59 mins)

de Lange/Brooks (70 mins)

Scorers:

 Tries: Kandemwa

Conversions: Magnus

Penalties: Magnus

Yellow Cards:

Red Cards:

Referee: Simon Waite

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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