Sunday September 1
North Wales Crusaders v South Wales Scorpions (2.30pm)
Adam Scott is North Wales Crusaders’ only injury absentee as they search for the point that would crown them Kingstone Press Championship One champions.
North Wales will earn automatic promotion to the Kingstone Press Championship providing they avoid defeat by more than 12 points against South Wales Scorpions.
Crusaders coach Clive Griffiths said: “It’s an exciting week, isn’t it?
“But funny things happen in sport, so I’m not taking anything for granted. South Wales are going to be determined to beat us.”
He added: “We’ve got to think positively and get our attack right. Defensively we’ve been good all year.
“For sheer doggedness and never letting rugby league die in north Wales, and for the players and what they’ve done this year, I hope everyone gets their reward on Sunday.”
David James returns for the Scorpions as coach Dave Clark insists his side are up for Sunday’s challenge.
Clark said: “The spirit and hunger is still there. We may not have had the results recently, but our season isn’t over yet.”
Gateshead Thunder v Hemel Stags (3.00pm)
Gateshead Thunder coach Kevin Neighbour has urged his squad to go out with a bang as they prepare for their final game of 2013.
Thunder have shown real improvement in the last three months and Neighbour, who will leave the club after Sunday’s game, is desperate to finish with a win.
He said: “It’s been a year of change and progress, and the lads spoke on Tuesday about rounding the year off well.
“After putting together a string of performances and really developing some belief over the last 10 weeks, that’s how they want to finish.”
On Hemel Stags, Neighbour added: “They’ve done very well in their first year. Quite a large part of their team has been together for a few years and that’s really worked in their favour.
“You want a core of lads that will take you forward and I’m sure they’ll get better next year.”
Chad Sharp remains sidelined for the Stags, who are also missing Eddie Mbaraga (knee).
Hemel coach Troy Perkins said: “We’ve had a couple of disappointing performances in our last couple of games.
“We’ve got to get back to winning ways and put in a really solid performance heading into the play-offs.”
Oxford v London Skolars (3.00pm)
Oxford coach Tony Benson will give late fitness tests to Michael Crabtree and Glenn Osborn, who are both struggling with shoulder problems.
Oxford are in sixth place, two points ahead of South Wales Scorpions going into Sunday’s fixtures.
Benson said: “Getitng a good performance is the task at hand more than anything.
“We’ve got to build some momentum, and if we can get a point or three then that would be even better.”
He added: “I watched London last week and they were very impressive against North Wales. We know their quality and what we’re up against.”
Skolars coach Joe Mbu has a fully fit squad to pick from as his side aims to secure a third-placed finish in the regular season.
Mbu said: “I was pleased with how the players performed against Crusaders.
“At this stage of the year it’s about keeping a calm head, and there hasn’t been a sense of panic when things haven’t gone for us recently. That shows the lads have matured, and hopefully they’ll keep on maturing over the coming weeks.”
Rochdale Hornets v Gloucestershire All Golds (3.00pm)
Rochdale Hornets player Ruairi McGoff is away with Canada on international duty, while Wayne English, Gareth Langley, Dave Hull and Chris Hough all face fitness tests.
Hornets coach Ian Talbot said: “We’ve got quite a few guys to look at, but hopefully two or three of them will be available.”
Talbot has set his sights on securing a win before the start of the Kingstone Press Championship One play-offs.
He said: “We were starting to build a little bit, but the Oldham game was a backward step for us in terms of our performance. We didn’t do ourselves justice.”
He added: “The All Golds have got better as the year’s gone on and I’m sure they’re a bit disappointed the season’s coming to an end.
“They’re picking up a bit of form and you know what to expect from any Brad Hepi team: they’ll come out firing and be physical from the start.”
Gloucestershire All Golds are aiming to secure their third win of a promising debut campaign that has seen them take points from seven of their 15 league fixtures so far.