Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Seven heaven in Selby RUFC's sights
CAN Selby RUFC make it a magnificent seven tomorrow?
The Yorkshire Two league leaders edged a tense game at Sheffield Medicals last time out to rack up their sixth win on the bounce and they defend their unbeaten record at Sandhill Lane against Skipton.
With their opponents having enjoyed just one win this season, it looks like a straightforward task for head coach Richard Nicholson and his squad. But the Swans chief refuses to be complacent.
“We don’t really look at the league table,” he said. “We know Skipton will always be a tough task. They have got some big farmer lads in their team who will make life difficult for us and it is going to be a tough old game. We will certainly prepare properly for it.
“We keep saying it, but we just keep preparing week by week. As soon as you look beyond that there is a banana skin waiting for you. It is a competitive division and we are under no illusions that every team can beat every other.”
Alex Arthur, who suffered a long-term ankle injury in pre-season, is Selby’s only casualty with Sam Weller coming back onto the bench.
Chris Creber’s have lost their last four matches, by a combined total of 32 points, and must start turning promising positions and performances into victories. With Durham City just two points behind them in the table, also having recorded one win from their opening six games, a victory is hugely important for the Ryedale side to start moving up the league table.
“It doesn’t seem to be affecting confidence,” said club spokesman Bill Laidler when asked if a succession of narrow defeats had dented morale. “We have got a lot of young lads in there who have got the skills but just haven’t got the experience or nous to stay in the lead once they get their noses in front.
“It is important to get that win and next week we are at Darlington (bottom of the league) so we should be looking at two wins which will get us up the table.”
Creber is still absent with the arm injury he suffered in the narrow loss to Morley but Ryan Lonsdale starts and he forms a new centre partnership with Sam Millward, who has returned to the area to become a vet in Easingwold.
Pocklington, the current Yorkshire One champions, welcome reigning Northumberland & Durham champions Darlington to Percy Road in North One East.
Both teams finished top of their respective tables by a convincing margin at the end of last season, with Darlington in particular coming up with a swagger as they ran in more than 1,000 points in winning 21 of their 26 league games.
However, they have struggled so far in the higher division, and have yet to record a victory this term. They started the season with a horrendous injury list, but have welcomed some absentees back in the past fortnight.
Pocklington are still looking for improvement, but have fared reasonably well, winning three of their first six games and currently sitting ninth in the table. They make one change from the side that won at Durham City with lock Chris Hyde coming back into the squad.
Elsewhere in the Northern Divisions, York go in hunt of their third win of the campaign when they go to Driffield – a club they trail by nine points in the Yorkshire One table – and York RI, fresh from their first win of the Yorkshire Three campaign, look to double up at table-toppers Old Rishworthians.