North Walsham bid to make it four wins on the spin at Ruislip
PUBLISHED: 14:24 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:24 20 September 2018
North Walsham Vikings face a trip to Middlesex, destination Ruislip, on Saturday for a game which, on current form, should help them take their winning streak to four.
Ruislip finished a decent 10th in the table last season but have started this London One North campaign poorly, with three defeats from three matches leaving them at the foot of the table with just one bonus point to show for their efforts.
Having started the campaign by conceding 50-plus points at home to Sudbury, they performed slightly better when losing to Old Priorians, but last Saturday suffered a crushing 87-0 defeat at the hands of rampant Colchester.
That record is one for the supporters to dwell on – it won’t figure in coach Johnny Marsters’ preparations.
Marsters will have selection issues in both forwards and backs. In the front row, prop Dane Canning will not travel as the birth of a baby looms. Tom Browes – back after two weeks away – had a storming game for the Raiders last week but might have to sit out the early minutes as Fijian Neumi Rokodinono, who has benched the first three games, is worthy of a start.
There is likely to be just one change in the back five – Ryan Oakes has work commitments so Dan Bird comes in to the second row with skipper Will Hodgson reverting to the back line.
Hodgson’s move is a forced one because Jim Riley pulled a hamstring last week and could be out for a few weeks. James Knight has work commitments and Taare Ferris and Dan Smith have not satisfied the physios they are match fit.
The Raiders, who had a dogged win against Norwich Union last week, will also be changed for the visit of Norwich Lions for their Greene King IPA Eastern Counties game, with at least two players moving up to the Vikings and a couple of absentees. But their squad will include veteran flanker Pena Sokia, returning after a long lay-off, and new recruit Donavin Dejongh in the centre. The Warriors are making their season debut with a home game against Broadland Gt Yarmouth II..
Vikings squad: Scott, Knight, Browes, Hodgson, Travers, Bird, Swart, Godwin, Miller, Thomson, Hodgson, Duffield, O’Hickey, Rokodinono, Braans, King, Rossi, Isbell.