Vikings Match Preview v Westcombe Park

10/13/20230
Vikings v Dorking 02

The Vikings return to Scottow Park this Saturday to complete their first block of fixtures in National 2 East with a match against Westcombe Park. The visitors lie in eleventh place in the League with just one victory 31 – 21 at home to Worthing, but unlike the Vikings have been picking up bonus points, four for scoring four tries or more and two for losing by seven or less. Last week, when the Vikings lost at fellow strugglers Sevenoaks, Park put in a very creditable performance at home to high flying Barnes losing 33 – 48.

Park, promoted twice in three seasons, are new to the League having won Regional One South East last year by 18 points, with 18 wins from 22 and 16 try bonus points. They look to have recruited quite heavily including some experienced newcomers. The two sides last met in 2021 – 22, the Vikings winning both matches, 36 – 7 at Scottow and 19 – 46 in Kent when Ross Magnus made his debut from the bench and put in a Man of the Match performance at scrum half.

Magnus, who has been playing at centre this season and successfully taken on the place kicking duties, may well be at half back this Saturday as both Connor Dudley and Harry Langbridge are amongst the players unavailable to Niall Lear. Wes McGuire and Harry Steward are other absentees which will likely mean a debut for ex Aylsham High student Matt Austin. Few changes are expected amongst the forwards. “Westcombe Park are a big fast side who’ve been scoring well but also conceding heavily,” said Lear. “It’s going to be another tough one for our young side who are on a steep learning curve but will continue to give their all.”

The Raiders, also seeking their first win, are at home too in Eastern Counties One against Cantabrigian with a 2.30 kick off, 30 minutes earlier than the Vikings. With the World Cup taking centre stage for the next two weekends the Vikings don’t play again until 4th November when they travel to Tonbridge Juddians, though the Raiders are at Wisbech next Saturday.

Paul Morse 121023

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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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