North Walsham ready to welcome leaders to Scottow

Will Hodgson scores one of eight North Walsham tries in the final game before Christmas, a 50-22 win

Will Hodgson scores one of eight North Walsham tries in the final game before Christmas, a 50-22 win at Saffron Walden. Picture: Hywel Jones - Credit: Archant

After what seems to have been a lengthy break rugby resumes at North Walsham on Saturday with the visit of table toppers Chingford.

The Essex side, who have topped London One North since day one of the season, lead second placed Brentwood, the only side to have beaten them this season by the slimmest of margins, a single point at the end of November, by four points.

In the away game in September the Vikings, short of a couple of key players were off the pace in the first half going into the break losing 33-3 and facing what looked to be a severe trouncing. However they regrouped at the interval and came back strongly, scoring two tries to Chingford's one and eventually losing 43-15.

It is obviously impossible to say how Saturday's game will go but given a full squad and playing in front of home support the final score this time could be a lot closer.

With North Walsham having a decent break behind them - they last played on December 16 - there should be no outstanding injuries to affect James Brooks' selection.

But it is not known if the two South Africans in the squad, Mike Braans and Will Swart, will have returned from their trip home.

The Raiders, who moved back to second place in the table after their good win over Norwich Union before the break, have just two games left before the revised fixture list, based on the first half's results, is announced.

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The first is a tough one away at Diss Saracens who sit in third place and who went home with all the points from their visit to Scottow in October.

The Warriors, who have had an up and down first half and have had to concede some games due to a lack of players, should have enough to fulfil their game at Scottow against Dereham.

Meanwhile Holt resume their campaign in London Three Eastern Counties with a home fixture against Thetford.

The match pits fourth placed Holt against the side immediately below them in the table. Both teams have slipped well adrift of top two Southwold and Woodbridge, who look certain to be battling it out for the title in April.

Saturday's match at Bridge Road kicks off at 2pm.