North Walsham 59 Fullerians 0: Impressive start for the Vikings
PUBLISHED: 09:29 03 September 2018
North Walsham got their season off to a flying start, running in nine tries to overwhelm their visitors from Watford.
Superior in all facets of the game, the Vikings never let Fullerians settle, controlling the pace of the match and doing the simple things well.
The forwards consistently won good ball in the set-pieces and loose, enabling the backs to put together some incisive dazzling moves.
Head of Rugby Johnny Marsters included three debutants, all in the pack: Dan Bird, Frank Scott and Mathew Travers. Each made important contributions, with 19-year-old prop Scott being named Chalk Hill Brewery man-of-the-match.
The Vikings had a dream start with a try after 90 seconds. Lee Thomson put up a high hanging box kick and Scott gathered the loose ball before three fast passes gave Ben O’Hickey the scoring opportunity. In the 13th minute it became 12-0 as James Knight broke through before passing to Jim Riley who raced over, with Matt Hodgson making the first of his seven conversions.
Two contrasting converted tries followed. Hodgson shimmied and dummied his way over from 20 metres and then the perfect catch and drive from a five metre lineout saw Chris Godwin score.
The Vikings went in 26-0 ahead and three minutes after the restart it became 33-0, the lively Thomson scoring.
Fullerians then applied some sustained pressure but in the 55th minute, with his first touch, substitute Will Swart drove deep into Fullerians’ half before quick recycling took the ball to Hodgson who burst between two defenders for his second try.
Fifteen minutes from time Josh Brown, playing has last home game before returning to New Zealand, was substituted to warm applause. A popular figure in his two years at the club he will be missed both on and off the pitch.
Three more converted tries followed, one for substitute Neumi Rokodinono and two for Dan Smith. For his first he rounded two defenders after a 60 metre run by Miller, while for his second he was on the end of a swift attack begun by a tap penalty from deep.
“It was a great start,” said a delighted Marsters. “The boys worked really hard for each other, showing a lot of resilience in attack and defence.”