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Brave Brighton battle past Vikings
BATTERED and bruised Brighton are one game away from Twickenham.
Neil McGovern’s Blues blew away North Walsham Vikings with a fast start in Norfolk as they claimed a 28-18 victory in the Intermediate Cup London division final.
The Blues went 10-0 up inside the first 12 minutes despite playing into a strong wind.
Adam Salvage and right wing Steve Dean crossed for unconverted tries to set up the platform for victory but Brighton were never able to breath easily until Chris Vailalo went over for a converted try with the last play of the match.
Blues led 15-6 at half-time after Vailalo added a third unconverted try, while Alex Finch kicked two second-half penalties to always keep the visitors in front against the London Two North East leaders.
Finch also added the conversion after Vailalo’s clincher as Blues set up a semi-final clash with St Austell on March 30 at Waterhall.
Player-coach McGovern said: “It was attritional.
“There was a lot at stake and the game was very fiercely contested.
“They are flying in their division and we’re going well in ours.
“It was two good teams going hammer and tongs.
“I think the difference was the start we made with the early tries against that wind. “There was a huge wind from one end of the pitch to the other and it was also wet and muddy. It was very difficult to play much rugby.
“We started into the wind and got off to a flying start. We retained the ball well, were accurate in contact and I think that threw them.”
The players were able to celebrate on the coach journey home, although, they had to leave one of their heroes behind.
Dan Solofuti suffered a broken arm in the build up to one of the hosts’ two tries and was kept in hospital for surgery yesterday.