Regional rugby round-up

BLAYDON go into their National Two game with bottom side Nuneaton looking to score tries and make the most of their opportunities.

BLAYDON go into their National Two game with bottom side Nuneaton looking to score tries and make the most of their opportunities.

Secretary Jim Huxley is not expecting an easy afternoon, despite the opposition’s lowly league position, and believes the side simply need to look at their own game and nothing else.

“The defeat last weekend was the first time we haven’t scored a try in something like three seasons, so that is one thing we are looking to make amends for this week,” he said. “Nuneaton haven’t won a match but they have picked up bonus points against some good sides so I’m not sure if they’re in a false position or not.

“We are getting fewer opportunities at this level and we need to realise they must be taken – because the opposition will. The players are good enough to do that, so we just need to go out and do it.”

A win this weekend would take Blaydon out of the league’s bottom four, a situation helped by the news a side just below the – Redruth – may be deducted points after an incident in their game against Cambridge which saw them not appear for the second half. Huxley, though, believes his side are good enough to stay up without that kind of help and is looking for a win in front of the home fans this weekend.

Tynedale will use this week’s EDF Energy National Trophy clash with Broadstreet as an opportunity to rest some of their recovering stars who have been forced to play due to what chairman of rugby John Shotton describes as a “chronic” injury situation.

Captain Phil Belgian and influential back row Andrew Murray will both be rested.

Mark Laycock, Rob McDermott, Rod Miller, Micky Young, Ben Marshall, Ben Duncan, Jack Harrison return to the squad after missing Saturday’s game.

Two 18-year-olds who made debuts on Saturday, Grant Beasley and Graeme Dunn – both England schools players – retain their place in the squad and there is a return for Douglas Jupp, who comes in for the unavailable Rupert Harden.

Also in the squad for first time is new signing 22-year-old Tom Lavelle, a Lancastrian who has been plying his trade in National Two for the last couple of years and also played for Lancashire in last season’s County Championship final at Twickenham.

Alnwick have been hit by a double injury blow ahead of their EDF Energy Senior Vase with Wallsend as both captain Ian Gray and vice captain Stu Archer have suffered what appear to be long-term knee injuries.

GOSFORTH will be appealing a two-point deduction at an RFU Appeal Panel hearing on October 22.

The deduction came after they failed to fulfil a fixture against Ponteland on September 8 – a situation which arose due to issues surrounding the side’s new artificial 4G pitch at Druid Park.

RICHARD NEALE

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