Tynedale will be without flanker Harrison Collins for at least the next six weeks after he damaged knee ligaments playing for parent club Newcastle Falcons.
The Durham University graduate limped out of Sunday’s 37-15 victory over Calvisano after twisting his knee midway through the first half, scans having revealed a grade-two tear of his medial collateral ligament.
Tynedale, for whom Collins has been playing on dual-registration this season, have no other fresh injury concerns as they prepare for Saturday’s National One visit of Richmond, aiming to lift themselves away from relegation trouble as they sit second-bottom of the division.
A pair of bonus points from last weekend’s trip to Cinderford did their cause no harm, although chairman of rugby John Shotton remains frustrated by their failure to close out victory from a game his side eventually lost 28-27.
“It was disappointing, but if you only kick one from eight then that is what can happen,” said Shotton.
“We scored five tries to three away from home, but had a bad 20 minutes after half-time where we conceded 19 points.
“We had a conversion and a penalty to win it which were from nearer the posts than the touchline, but the lads played some good rugby and we threatened the opposition.
“The backs played well, and our set-piece was good. We fell off a few tackles and knocked a couple on, and that is what happens.”
Impressed by the contribution of Kiwi flanker Daniel Temm on his club debut after signing from Otley, he said: “Daniel looks a good player, and he did well on his debut.
“Obviously it is hard having only had five training sessions with us, getting used to our system and things like that, but he is a feisty lad with a lot of potential.”
Bottom club Hull Ionians, meanwhile, have “parted company” with their head coach Gary Pearce after losing at Tynedale less than a fortnight ago. Shotton said: “Hull Ionians are actually a much better side than what their results have shown, and it will not be easy for any team going up against them.”
Meanwhile, Blaydon’s bid to extend their unbeaten run to 11 games takes them to the Lancashire coast, where they take on Fylde.
National Two North’s second-placed side Darlington Mowden Park are at home to Luctonians, Durham and Northumberland One leaders Horden make the trip to struggling Novovastrians, who are second-bottom of the table.