With Priory Park closed down for the day as all games scheduled were played ‘on the road’ it was a disappointing trip over to West Yorkshire for the Blues who lost a close fought game to fellow strugglers Otley who in the end escaped with a 23-17 victory to ease their plight in the bottom three of National Two North and although both sides scored three tries it was a couple of penalties which saw off the Macclesfield challenge in a game that seemingly could have gone either way.
This weekend another struggling side – Luctonians – travel up from their Herefordshire home for the penultimate game of the first half of the campaign on the back of a high scoring home defeat to second placed Tynedale by 38-40 which sounds remarkably like our encounter with the North Easteners just a few weeks ago. This is one we must target as a ‘W’ and with plenty going on with a pre match dinner in the clubhouse before the game lets ensure that there is a good atmosphere before, during and indeed after the game.
Elsewhere in Two North leaders Hinckley recorded a stunning 35-0 victory over a Stourbridge side that seem to have lost their way a bit after a good start to the season. Local rivals Sale made the short trip to Vicars Cross where they comprehensively beat Chester by 40-10 to maintain their current progress whilst Sedgley Park in 4th spot went down in another close encounter by 32-30 at Huddersfield. There is now g of a gap between Stourbridge in 5th spot on 49 points and 6th placed South Leicester 10 points adrift on 39.
At the ‘wrong end’ of the table Wharfedale managed a good and close victory 28-25 over visiting South Leicester whilst Blaydon also recorded a close fought 36-34 victory over Sheffield Tigers up in the North and Sheffield also belied their second bottom spot with a good 14-7 victory at home to Leicester Lions all of which adds pressure on The Blues who hover but few points above those clubs as we seek a good run on the park – hopefully starting with Luctonians on Saturday……………..
Around the club the Second XV ‘The Lions’ travelled to Firwood Waterloo on Merseyside and came away with a high scoring 54-35 victory although sadly once more I have no further details. The 3rd XV had a ‘free week’ while the 4th XV travelled to Crewe & Nantwich to play their 3rd XV and came away with a 29-14 victory after not playing the previous week with scorers including Ryan Brown & Sam Bancroft (tries) with James Burgess kicking 3 conversions and a penalty. M of M here named as Simon Street.
Away from Priory Park there was much rugby on Saturday with both codes plying their trade with our RL cousins falling disappointingly close to take the World Cup from hosts Australia in a tense final on Saturday morning in Brisbane losing by the unusual score (in RL) by just 6-0. Ah well Super League starts again early in 2018 so much to look forward to from this armchair fan…
The Autumn Internationals closed with just one game that saw Wales take on and beat South Africa in Cardiff by 24-22 but there was plenty of comment in the Sunday press about the number of games that top players must go through during a full season with ‘burn out’, injuries and sheer fatigue kicking in thanks to the greed of the controlling bodies of the game who seem to think that International Rugby scheduling is the b all and end all of the rugby players world. Time methinks to sit back and have a good look at player welfare issues rather than cash in the kitty over the turnstiles and bars at HQ. What did Will Carling once call the RFU hierarchy – 57 old f…ts – enough said!!
All this and also in Australia the Second Test Match seems, as I write, to be heading somewhat in the direction of the home side in what, so far, has been a high scoring encounter once again !! Ah well it’s nearly Xmas !!
This weekend sees a ‘full house’ at Priory Park after a blank weekend with the games for Saturday as follows:-
1st XV v. Luctonians (League) – Kick Off 3.pm. – Home
2nd XV v. Sale – Kick Off 2.15.pm.- Home
3rd XV v. Wilmslow ‘2’ – Away
4th XV v. Northwich ‘3’ – Home
Thant’s all for now,
Enjoy your Rugby – I do,