London 1 North: N Walsham v Luton
By Ian Nancollas
Luton RFC suffered a 79-5 defeat on the road to North Walsham in the latest round of this season’s London One North League.
The visitors had a great start, they dominated the first 20 minutes of the game. After winning a lineout in the 6th minute, Luke Spellen put a great effort in, helping captain Ryan Staff to put the ball over the try line (0-5). Despite the teams’ incredible intrepidity, including hard tackles from Karl Rodell, captain Staff, Martin O’Grady and Denzel Edwards, they couldn’t stop the Vikings from scoring five tries before the break (29-5).
LRFC didn’t manage to score a try in the second half, having the final score 79-5.
Both first team manager Steve Evans and backs coach David Hamm agreed that the most important difference between the two sides was the fitness and that’s what they need to focus on. However, they named different players for their man of the match.
Manager Evans said: “You can’t deny North Walsham’s skills, they were fantastic but it was clear that our fitness wasn’t where we would need to compete against a team like this.
“Building on what we did against Colchester, we just chose to put the right spirit in the game. We knew it’s going be tough but thankfully the boys just put their bodies on the line again.
“We need to focus on fitness, get the number to train that we need, particularly on a Thursday, and the improvement will come slowly but surely.
“Ryan Staff was exceptional today, carrying an injury like he is. But aside injuries or not, his performance today was extraordinary.”
Coach Hamm said: “They were a lot fitter and they managed to use the conditions a lot better than we did, using the wind in the first half.
“We just got to keep going, keep turning up to training and keep working on the things we’re not so good at- basic handling errors, basic structure play and just stick to what they’ve been told to do and when to do it and we’ll be alright.
“I thought Denzel Edwards had an excellent game, he managed to be everywhere on the pitch, like he does every week. Harry Alston at 10 played really well as well, he managed to distribute the ball pretty well, considering the pressure.”
Luton will travel to the Old Priorians on Saturday.