Renewed relegation threat to Vikings

North Walsham 8, Jersey 46After three successive wins, hopes of an upset win over their high-flying visitors vanished when they conceded two tries in the first 15 minutes.

North Walsham 8, Jersey 46

After three successive wins, hopes of an upset win over their high-flying visitors vanished when they conceded two tries in the first 15 minutes. By half-time Jersey were out of sight at 29-8 and by the end had run-in seven tries.

Jersey were much the better side, but the gulf was not as huge as the scoreline suggests. The main differences were that they consistently did the basics well and grasped every scoring opportunity, while the Vikings played well only in patches, tried overcomplicated moves, generally passed poorly and lost too many lineouts.

Jersey went ahead after two minutes and, in a pattern that was to become familiar, were gifted the scoring opportunity. The Vikings failed to deal with the kick-off, conceding a scrum on the 22, and centre Sam Tuia weaved around four defenders without serious challenge; Tom Turner converted. The home side were then in the ascendancy for the next 10 minutes, only for disaster to strike when a long pass was intercepted and Mitchell Burton ran the length of the field to score.


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The Vikings got some reward five minutes later when Peter Clifford kicked a penalty from the 22. This was soon cancelled out by a long range effort from Turner and, in the 25th minute, Jersey went further ahead.

A grubber kick from Turner bounced up perfectly for Michael Le Bourgeois to gather and, with the defenders wrong footed, he was able to stroll over from 20 metres. Turner added the two points.

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Some balance was restored to the scoreboard when the Vikings scored a try 10 minutes before the break. A well controlled forward drive led by Josh Reeves and Chris Godwin took play into the 22, and then quick hands moved the ball to Iain Young who outstripped the defence.

Five minutes later the home side conceded a second soft interception try, this time from Stephen O'Brien scored; Turner converted.

Vikings had a mountain to climb in the second half and it became even steeper when Burton got his second try four minutes after the break.

In the 53rd minute the coaches introduced Dom Roberts and Steve Simms to the action and Rhys Davies-Horne, who had been impressing on the wing, moved to outside half, where he gave an assured display.

Jersey, though, continued to be in control, so it was no surprise when O'Brien scored again after indecision by two defenders.

Vikings refused to give up. Skipper Tom Holt and Pena Sokia put in some strong runs and there were some outstanding tackles from Peter Clifford and Will Farrer.

In time added on Jersey completed the scoring with a well constructed try, Graham Bell going over under the posts for O'Brien to convert.

Saturday's disappointing display, allied to the winning game against Tring having to be replayed due to a technicality around uncontested scrums, means the Vikings are now dangerously close to the relegation zone again.

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