Vikings Game Preview v Dorking (H) – 16/09/2023


The Vikings’ challenging start to the season continues with their third consecutive fixture against a side that finished in the top five in 2022 -23. This weekend it’s Dorking, who travel to Norfolk joint top of National 2 East having won their two opening games against Wimbledon and Worthing convincingly, amassing 95 points and conceding 32.

Niall Lear sees the fixture as an opportunity to test his young squad against quality opposition and build on the performance at Bury last week when the Vikings scored three tries, posing a greater attacking threat than they had in the season’s opener versus Worthing. At Bury the game was comparatively even for 70% of the match – the second half scoreline was 19 -12 – but the Vikings showed their defensive frailties by conceding six tries in around 20 minutes, with the game effectively lost by half time. The squad for Saturday is unlikely to show many changes: Harry Steward is injured, Leo Langbridge is expected to start and there could be some positional changes.

Lear sees Dorking as promotion favourites, having added a few quality signings to an already strong settled squad. They have a very mobile pack and prefer to play open rugby. Their team is likely to include both the league’s 2022 -23 leading try and points scorers: Tobermory McRae (35) and Henry Anscombe (243).

After a gap of ten years this is the third season in a row that the teams have been in the same League. Last year the Surrey side won both matches by wide margins, 59 – 0 at Dorking, 48 – 19 in the return fixture. It was one apiece though in 2021 -22 when they both won promotion, the game at Scottow a memorable one, a last minute Frank Scott try snatching a one point victory. Just two of the Vikings team that played that day 17 months ago are likely to feature on Saturday.

Meanwhile the Raiders, after two successive promotions, begin their campaign in Eastern Counties One at home to West Norfolk. That match kicks off at 2.30, half an hour earlier than the Vikings.

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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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