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How the league looks ahead of this weekend’s games

Last Saturday our club entertained league leaders Caldy RFC, a side we had not played against since season 2014-15.  It is often said that some sides are ‘still on the bus’ in a game that begins after a long journey. Caldy dispelled that myth by racing into a 12-0 lead in just over 3 minutes and Hull had a mountain to climb.  The fact that we fought back to draw level at 17-17  showed our great resilience but two tries from the visitors in the final quarter gave them maximum points with a 31-17 victory. Hull tries came from a penalty try and the second from Keane Naylor following a marvellous 50 metre scorch down the left touch-line. Reece Dean landed a 45 metre penalty goal and added a superb conversion to Naylor’s try.

Elsewhere in the division second-placed Fylde had a very good home 41-19 win over Stourbridge scoring six tries in the process; Luctonians v Loughborough Students was a battle royal which the Students won by 38-33. Both sides scored five tries but Lucs could only convert four of them whilst the Students converted all four but landed a penalty as well.

In a nail-biter at Otley the home side beat Chester by 18-17 and Huddersfield, following their opening win last week,carried on the good work with a very significant 29-12 away win at Preston Grasshoppers. The ‘Hoppers scored five tries to four but could only convert one of them.

Scunthorpe, who are yet to win a game went down very heavily at home where Tynedale posted a 59-17 win after leading 24-7 at the break.  Another high-scoring game was at Sedgley Park where the home side had a narrow 34-29 win over Hinckley who scored five tries to four with centre Mitchell Lamb getting three of them. Unfortunately they could only convert two of them.

Finally, in a Yorkshire derby at Wharfedale the home side went down 34-18 to Sheffield Tigers who scored five tries to Wharfe’s three before a crowd of 573.

All this means there is no change at the top with Caldy on 28 points, Fylde on 27 and Sedgley Park on 23.  Down in the nether regions Scunthorpe are on 5 points (all bonus points), Luctonians are on 9 and Hull have now slipped into the bottom three and are on 11.

This week’s fixtures begin with leaders Caldy at home to Otley who are eighth with a home win the likely result; Chester v Sedgley Park sees eighth play third which should be a cracking game with ‘Sedge slight favourites I would have thought and the Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield should see the Lockwood Park outfit make it three wins on the trot against visitors Wharfedale; Hinckley v Fylde where thirteenth take on second looks like an away win to me but Hinckley are tough on their own ground and it could be close.

Loughborough Students v Hull looks like a home win but the Students had to struggle last week against Lucs and Hull, now on a losing three match run, will be eager to get back to winning ways again; Sheff Tigers at home to Luctonians, where sixth play fifteenth, again looks like a home win, especially if it is heavy going at ‘Dour’ Moor but the Tigers have lost two of their three games at home so far; Stourbridge should prove too strong for struggling Scunthorpe and the league difference here is fifth taking on sixteenth. Finally, Tyne take on ‘Hoppers in a seventh v tenth game which is hard to forecast.

My three games to watch are Chester v Sedgley Park, Huddersfield v Wharfedale and Tynedale v ‘Hoppers.

Enjoy your rugby wherever you are.

Norman Angell

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