Vikings address weaknesses
After playing league new boys Dorking, North Walsham Vikings face more familiar opposition when third-placed Havant visit Scottow. Having been relegated at the end of last season, Havant have enjoyed something of a revival and their record of seven wins from nine games shows that they will be formidable opponents.
After playing league new boys Dorking, North Walsham Vikings face more familiar opposition when third-placed Havant visit Scottow.
Having been relegated at the end of last season, Havant have enjoyed something of a revival and their record of seven wins from nine games shows that they will be formidable opponents.
However, the stats show that of the games won, three have been by less than five points and their two defeats were both away at Dorking and, surprisingly, Tring, who currently lie one from bottom. Despite last week's defeat spirits are high in the squad and if the players can replicate most of what they did last week they could well win.
Dorking 10, North Walsham Vikings 5
RECENT reports on the Vikings have majored on lack of discipline and wayward kicking. That both have been addressed and acted upon was obvious to the travelling support at Dorking.
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Only five penalties conceded, three points to the opposition, and some telling ground-gaining kicks out of hand by Justin Loveridge and Iain Young tell part of the story.
The scoreline tells the part that matters, but one suspects that an unbiased spectator would agree that it was harsh on the losers in that it all hinged on one broken tackle.
The home side dominated the early stages, playing down the considerable slope, and for 10 minutes or so had Walsham putting their defensive talents to use. Having weathered the onslaught Walsham worked their way upfield and began to look dangerous when Young broke through, taking play up to the 22.
The Walsham forwards turned over Dorking possession on the five-metre line, won a penalty, opted for the
line-out taken by Josh Goldspink, the drive for the line ending with Mark McCall claiming the score.
Given the success rate enjoyed by their outside-half Matt Noble it was a surprise when Dorking passed up a seemingly easy kick at goal, opting to run the ball and finding the defence impassable. An interception and breakaway by Bruce van Poortvliet ended when his inside pass ended up with a defender.
The home side were finding it difficult to break through with the tackling and covering of the Rossouw, Sokia and Godwin limiting their options, and the midfield tackling of Jamie Burroughs causing them to try to spread the ball wide. With Walsham still pressing, Dorking struck a killer blow.
The ball was moved from the right wing crossfield to flanker Ben Lewis who had a spare man outside him. He opted to cut inside, broke the tackle and dived over under the bar, giving Noble the simplest of conversions.
Dorking extended the lead with a Noble penalty from in front of the posts.
The final 10 minutes saw the Vikings dig deep with great leadership from Rossouw and superb defence from Dorking. With 30 seconds left the ref awarded a five-metre scrum to Walsham, but so intense was the action that the final play lasted four minutes with Rossouw, Davies, Loose and Soutar all coming close.
Holt 21, Diss Saracens 15
Holt hosted Diss Saracens, instead of Bancroft, who had given the home side a walkover in the RFU Junior Vase, meaning the hosts go through to the next round on November 21.
Diss provided excellent opponents and the game was never totally in Holt's control. Tries: Allen (converted by him), Child 2 (Ilsley converting both).
The game had been a good run out for Holt and should put them in fine fettle for their return to league rugby next week when they are away to Crusaders, where the result could go either way.