Vikings v Wimbledon Match Preview (H)- 06/04/24

04/04/20240
match photo TW

National 2 East’s bottom two meet at Scottow Park this Saturday, the Vikings final home game of the season. It’s a key game for Wimbledon who, unlike their hosts, still have a chance of avoiding relegation so the visitors will be targeting five points.

Promoted last season with 21 wins from 22, Wimbledon have found it difficult at the higher level with just four wins, though they’ve picked up 15 bonus points, 11 times scoring four tries or more. Their latest victory was at Bury St. Edmunds in February, since when they have suffered a run of four defeats, albeit three of them were versus top five sides. Yet another team with a big pack, fly half Ed Morgan is their leading points scorer with 148, all but 30 of them from the kicking tee. “He’s a class act, excellent game management,” commented Niall Lear. Winger Tomasz Pozniak, a member of Poland’s 7s squad, is their leading try scorer with 14, double that of any of his teammates.

Niall faces challenges in selecting his squad. With the Langbridge brothers having returned home to Australia, Ross Magnus and Billy Tait similarly decamped to Queensland, and Ewan Kingdon playing in the Hong Kong Sevens, a third of his normal starting XV is unavailable. Added to that the Raiders have a key game at West Norfolk, the losers facing the likelihood of relegation from Eastern Counties One. Lucas Atherton and Mark McCall are likely to step up from the bench to start at fly half and hooker respectively, and a bonus for Lear could be the return of the influential Charlie Fethney, concussed at Westcombe Park seven weeks ago.

This will be only the fourth match between the two Clubs and the Vikings are defending an unbeaten record, having done the double in season 2021-22 and then getting a well-earned 23 – 23 draw in Southwest London in February. In that game they came back from being 14 points behind at the break, Wimbledon hooker Devlin Hope having scored a first half hat trick of catch and drive tries.

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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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