Vikings Match Preview v Worthing (A) – 27/04/24

04/26/20240

This Saturday North Walsham Vikings end their season, and two year stay in National Two East, with a 400 mile round trip to Worthing. The Sussex side, who’ve been in the National Leagues 15 years, have had a disappointing season by their standards lying twelfth, with six wins, after finishing fourth in 2022 – 23 when they were briefly promotion candidates. They’ve lost their last three, their most recent game a 55 – 32 defeat at Wimbledon. Bonus points have been their salvation, amassing 22 in total, only four sides have more; remarkably their tally of 17 for try scoring is the League’s fifth highest and higher than second placed Barnes.

“Expect a high scoring game, they’ll attack from anywhere” commented Niall Lear who is somewhat baffled by Worthing’s comparative lack of success. “There’s quality throughout their team, on their day they can beat anyone.” Worthing’s squad includes at full back international 7s player Tom Bowen who is their leading try scorer with 13, and two who played for Harlequins last season in the Premiership Cup: centre Jack Forrest (8 tries) and winger Curtis Barnes (12) who in the comparable fixture last March scored a hat-trick within the first 20 minutes, the hosts winning 57 – 22 to complete the double.

Worthing will be looking to achieve the double again this time, having won 7 – 45 at Scottow in the season’s opening fixture. Just eight of the Vikings’ squad from that game are likely to feature on Saturday. Skipper Dan Smith returns after illness and will probably play on the wing with debutant Ed Jay partnering Benji Hewitt in the centre and Freddie Snary at full back. In the forwards Henly Brightman has concussion so John Clarke will start whilst, with Hudson de Lucchi and Josh Wilson unavailable, Isaac Atherton is likely to come into the second row alongside Ethan Holmwood who achieved the landmark of 50 appearances in the last match at Old Albanian. “Obviously it’s going to be another tough one for our young side,” said Niall, “but they’ll be doing their best to end the season with a good performance.”

 

Paul Morse

250424

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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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