Norfolk Vikings mount a 7 try raid at a wind swept Volac Park
By Ben Peterson
North Walsham 2's were just too good for Cambridge 3's and showed why they are the top of the table.
North Walsham Raiders lived up to their name with a 7 try rout at a windy Volac Park. With a side full of flying Fijians and some home grown Norfolk muscle the visitors delivered a text book display in how to deal with difficult conditions by sticking to a simple but effective game plan. The view from the touchline was that the wind was at least a 20 point advantage for the visitors, so when Cambridge managed to subdue them for 15 mins their was a belief that the 3's could compete. Forcing mistakes from the Raiders and pushing hard to get field position, Cambridge came close early on, but a number of unfortunate errors at key moments put them back, deep into their own half. Walsham were camped in the Cambridge 22 for much of the half despite struggling at the set piece. Their patience and persistence finally paid off when their winger found some space out wide. Cambridge held firm for a further 10mins, but found it so difficult to get out of their half. Walsham finished strongly with 3 more scores and 1 conversion.
Half Time CRUFC 0 - 22 North Walsham Raiders
Turning round only 22 points down their was still belief that Cambridge had every chance to mount a come back and force the visitors to play out of their own half against the wind. They tried and spent a lot of time knocking on the Raiders door but just couldn't unlock a well organised defence. It took 34 mins for the visitors to break the home sides resolve and after that 2 more tries and conversion not long before the end finally put paid to any remote hopes Cambridge had left. The Walsham 9 and 12 were their stand out players making a massive impact on the game. Their left winger wasn't no slouch either bagging a brace.
There were some notable efforts, in particular from Sam Burrows at 9 who did well marshalling the pack and kept the visitors guessing. Alex and Cadge gave their all in the set piece and carried well. Kyle Kotkin-Smith earned The Red Bull Pub man of match award. Tireless in attack and defence, often putting some last ditch tackles where others couldn't,he kept battling to the end.
Full Time CRUFC 0 - 39 North Walsham Raiders
Head Coach Darren Messenger said, "It was tough lesson for the boys today. I don't think we were at the races mentally, perhaps we gave them a little too much respect. You either step up against better sides and raise your game or get found out. The boys will need to get this one out of their system quickly, learn from it and move on. Walsham were a very good side and deserved their victory."
Respect to Walsham who left the visitors changing room spotlessly clean.
A big thanks to our Man of the Match sponsors The Red Bull and to Bob Coote for his brilliant photos.