North Walsham 68 Saffron Walden 0 – Vikings are unstoppable as first victory of the season is wrapped up
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 September 2017
North Walsham scored six unanswered tries in each half as they breezed past a rather underpowered Saffron Walden side in London One North, with 11 players getting on the scoresheet.
Walden featured 10 of the squad which ran the Vikings close on two occasions last season, but only managed to disrupt the first scrum on the home put in, and had a poor afternoon at the lineout.
Vilikesa Vurewa and James Riley had early runs on the wing before Ryan Oakes took the lineout and drove over for the first score on six minutes. James Knight barrelled over shortly after following a five-metre scrum.
Crisp tackling by Jake Duffield and Aki Downing kept the defensive line intact as torrential rain set in for the second quarter. Walden had their replacement blindside in the sin bin as Will Hodgson scored the first of his two touchdowns, followed by a solo effort from Will Findlay from 12 metres.
Riley freed Mike Braans to set up Roydon Miller for try number five, before Riley went over himself, leaving the Vikings 36-0 ahead at the break.
George Rossi was on in the second row as Tom Browes added to the total after the restart, with Josh Brown and Findlay continuing to probe from deep before Lachlan Brown-Bates scored from another drive at the lineout.
Braans celebrated by running round to score under the posts, for Duffield to convert, one of only four successes with the boot.
Another Hodgson break sent Knight away, before pressure allowed replacement full-back Freddie Henley-Hunter over the whitewash.
Chalk Hill Brewery man of the match Hodgson again gathered in the air from a restart to score the twelfth try, before Knight knocked on under the posts and the pace of Henley-Hunter prevented a breakout score by Saffron Walden at the final whistle.
Head of rugby James Brooks felt Hodgson had an awesome game, with Riley nailing his position on the left wing with an outstanding display. He was pleased his team had achieved the half-time objective of not allowing the visitors to score.