North Walsham gearing themselves up for a tough test

Hal Riley in full flight for North Walsham during Saturday's derby win over Diss at Scottow. Picture

Hal Riley in full flight for North Walsham during Saturday's derby win over Diss at Scottow. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

Following their comprehensive defeat of neighbours Diss last weekend North Walsham are fully aware that Saturday's opponents Brentwood will be a totally different proposition.

Brentwood has never been a particularly happy hunting ground for the Vikings, who have registered just one win and one draw in five visits, although a couple of the defeats have been by narrow margins.

The Essex side have had a good start to the season, with a six from eight win record with the defeats coming at the hands of Colchester and Amersham and Chiltern and having conceded an average of 11 points per game will probably be hard to break down.

With minimal knowledge of the game plan of the opposition coach James Brooks concentrates his efforts on the individual and collective strengths of his squad.

The usual selection questions will have to be addressed but up front they should be resolved by the return to action last week of Will Hodgson and the return this week of Lachlan Brown-Bates, who missed out through injury and Todd Scotland, who was unwell.

One definite absentee from the back line is full back Josh Brown who has suffered a non rugby related shoulder injury but Brooks could draft in new signing Ben O'Hickey. He could also have the opportunity to blood another new arrival, Kiwi Lee Thomson, at scrum-half.

The Raiders, who suffered defeat against Diss Saracens last week, will be eager to get back to winning ways against Swaffham at Scottow (2pm) and will also be subject to at least four changes as two players suffered concussion and will take the mandatory break and two, centre Adam Howe and wing Vilikesa Vurew,a picked up leg injuries. Although last week's Warriors game was called off there is every hope that they will travel to Wymondham this Saturday.

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Holt should be raring to go when they face Wymondham at Tuttles Lane in London Eastern Counties Three on Saturday, having seen their scheduled meeting with Lowestoft & Yarmouth last weekend called off at short notice.

With their opponents unable to raise a team they were awarded a 20-0 win - their sixth in succession - but would doubtless have preferred to have picked up the points by playing a game.

Saturday's opponents have had a mixed start to the season, with three wins and four defeats, and were trounced 66-21 at Thetford last time out.