After last week’s postponement at Wimbledon the Vikings are looking forward to getting back into action with a home fixture against Old Albanian. The visitors, who are based in St. Albans, are veterans of the National Leagues having played at this level for 14 consecutive years, including two in National One. After finishing seventh last season they currently lie eighth with four wins from 11 matches and, after three defeats in a row, will doubtless be expecting to get back to winning ways on their trip to Norfolk. Their only away victory was in September at Sevenoaks but they are another side that has gathered a good number of bonus points, eleven, of which six have been for scoring four or more tries, so they clearly know the way to the tryline. Their leading try scorer is no 8 Kemp Price who has ten, winger Oluwaseyi Ajeigbe is next with eight and they have a reliable goalkicker in Sam Jones who averages nine points per match from the tee.
The only changes to the Vikings squad chosen for last week are likely to be the return of Pieter de Lange and Wes McGuire, although Tawanda Kandemwa faces a fitness test. Archie Bryan, Ethan Holmwood and Mark McCall remain on the injured list, but Henly Brightman has recovered from concussion and will make his return for the Raiders at Ipswich.
Matches between the two Clubs have been very intermittent and this will be only the tenth fixture since they first played each other in 1987 – 88. Last season’s games, the first for 13 years, were both won by OAs : 14 – 31 at Scottow in September and 7 – 31 in January.
“It’s going to be yet another tough test for our young and inexperienced side,” said Niall Lear. “Old Albanian are a well drilled team with a big pack and their results so far probably don’t reflect their quality. As always though the boys will give their best and maybe we can spring some surprises.”