Diss and North Walsham rugby previews

Thursday, March 1, 2012
10:36 PM

North Walsham and Diss will both be looking to make home advantage count tomorrow as they look to pick up points for very different reasons.

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The Vikings take on Old Colfeians knowing a win is vital in what is looking like an increasingly uphill battle against relegation.

Diss simply want to finish as high up the table as possible after a promising season and will be looking to consolidate their fourth position when they entertain Eton Manor, the side immediately below them.

With limited options North Walsham coach Nick Greenhall is likely to make no more than minor changes to the team that performed so well last week when giving third-placed Letchworth Garden City a good game. Old Colfeians are placed just inside the top half of the table with a 50/50 record. However they are an unpredictable unit, winning games they are expected to lose and vice versa and last week they lost heavily to Bury St Edmunds, probably smarting from the loss of 25 points for disciplinary reasons.

If Greenhall does make changes he could do so in the front row by giving prop Keith Fowles a start and moving either Ben Campbell or Stuart Loose to the bench. If Leon Davies has work commitments Chris Kent, unavailable last week, could step straight back into the side. The half-back pairing of Hardisty and Forrester worked well last week and is likely to be retained but Shane van Vuuren will probably be on standby awaiting the arrival of his firstborn.

Walsham know a win would most likely take them out of the bottom two, with the side just above them, Hammersmith and Fulham, playing leaders Thurrock.

The Raiders, buoyed up by their current resurgence, take to the road to play West Norfolk, another side that handed them a narrow defeat at Scottow early in the season. With the usual mix of youth and experience the side has been improving since the Christmas break and has been playing some exciting rugby. Skipper Rob George is expected to return after a month out with an ankle injury and front row forward Tim Mason is also likely to make an appearance following a long lay-off.

The clash between Diss and Eton Manor at Mackenders has all the makings of a thriller. The last meeting between the two sides in October was a 25-25 draw, something neither team will want to repeat. Diss will be buoyed by last weekend’s strong performance against Chingford which yielded a maximum haul. Eton also had a win against bottom placed Braintree and are only one point Diss as run-in approaches.

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