Vikings Match Preview v Westcombe Park (A) – 17/02/24

02/16/20240
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North Walsham Vikings are on the road again this Saturday, their fifth away match since the turn of the year, their opponents 11th placed Westcombe Park who play in Orpington on the extremities of Southeast London. The hosts will be looking to complete the double, having won the October encounter 7 – 59 running in nine tries. It’s going to be yet another tough game for the young Vikings team, looking to build on their recent improved performances. “Westcombe Park are a good side,” commented Niall Lear. “I was very impressed with them when they visited us and am surprised they’re not higher up the table. They’ve got some destructive runners, a huge well drilled pack and a very useful back line.”

Promoted into National 2 this season, Park have been inconsistent with five victories and a draw from 16. They’ve won just once in their last six, the notable scalp of promotion hopefuls Dorking, and nearly pulled off a surprise last week at high flying Barnes, losing by four points. To evidence their inconsistency, they’ve also lost recently to lowly Wimbledon and Worthing. They average only six points kicked per game but are big try scorers and been involved in many high scoring close games. Consequently, they have 20 bonus points, three more than any other team. Full back Toby Wallace is their leading try scorer with 12, followed by winger Kieran Thompson and no 8 Nick Cook both with nine.

Injuries and unavailability mean the Vikings’ squad shows changes from last week – “a game we lost, rather than Sevenoaks won.”  Absentees include Ross Magnus, Pieter de Lange and John Clarke. Niall was mulling over backline options in Magnus’ absence, but amongst the forwards Russ Arnold and Kit Brodie are likely to come into the squad and there could be a debut for Gresham’s captain Danny Whittred.  This is the 20th fixture between the two Clubs, the Vikings having won 12 including their last visit in September 2021 when Dan Smith scored a hat trick in a 19 – 46 victory and debutant Magnus was Man of the Match.

 

Paul Morse

150224

 

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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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