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John Drake

28/07/13 - The Kingstone Press Championship 1 Match Thread

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Discuss all this weekend's Kingstone Press Championship 1 games here.

 

SUNDAY 28 JULY
South Wales Scorpions v Gateshead Thunder    13:00
Rochdale Hornets v Oxford    15:00
Gloucestershire All Golds v London Skolars    15:00
Oldham v North Wales Crusaders    15:00
 

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Scorpions by 20

Hornets by 12

Skolars by 18

Crusaders by 4 (this will be the closest game! The Cru need to back up last weekends triumph with a win and a return to the league summit!

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Scorpions by 20

Hornets by 12

Skolars by 18

Crusaders by 4 (this will be the closest game! The Cru need to back up last weekends triumph with a win and a return to the league summit!

Can't disagree with your selection of winners but I don't think Scorpions will win by 20; more like 8.  North Wales Crusaders will have to be on top form. Oldham are on a good run of form but I agree it will be close but think we will win by at least 10.

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Congratulations to two massive North Wales Crusaders fans, RAF Valley (Anglesey, North Wales) pilot Will and his wife Kate on the birth of their baby. Kate bravely held off the birth until she knew the result of the Northern Rail Bowl final and could finally relax after the North Wales Crusaders victory. Rumour has it the baby will be named Andrew after NWC Captain Fantastic, Andy Moulsdale.

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The game at Oldham is going to be massive and I can't wait for Sunday, although I am already feeling the nerves getting to me. I'm not over confident but will take Crusaders to win by 2. Expect Skolars to give Gloucestershire a hiding but can see Oxford and Gateshead getting bonus points. I would like to see Gateshead get a win just to keep "the pot boiling" at the bottom and because their fans have the longest journey. I would like Gloucestershire to pull off an unlikely victory to do Crusaders a favour. A draw at Spotland will do for me.

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Scorpions by 20 (just cause its a massive journey)

Rochdale by 8

London by 16

Crusaders by 10

Think the game at Whitebank is massive but not expecting an amazing feast of expansive Rugby.... I think both sides know its an important game and might play it tight up the middle on a very small pitch. I think there could be fun and games through the afternoon where tactics will play a massive part - with 40/20s and drop goals all over!

I see Oldham have a fully fit squad including the loans they've put on their website so Cru will need to be in absolute top form. A defeat for us is not a disaster by any stretch - as long as we get a bonus point, we could still afford to lose one of the games in hand even if Oldham won their remain three matches.

But a defeat for Oldham would pretty much hand us the league. They'd have to go undefeated for the last three games including away at Rochdale and London and we'd have to lose three out of the remaining five games of Hemel, Scorpions and Oxford at home and London and Gateshead away ...... Which we won't do!

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Will Whitebank be able to cope with the crowd on Sunday. If all the Crusaders' fans who travelled to Halifax travel this weekend, there could be a full house. Let's hope so.

 

The derby game at Spotland will be an interesting one. Will both sides travel in the same Hattons coach from St Helens ?

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PREVIEWS

South Wales Scorpions v Gateshead Thunder

David James (back) is South Wales Scorpions’ only injury absentee as they prepare to host Gateshead Thunder in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship One clash.
Scorpions coach Dave Clark said: “We’ve still an opportunity to make the play-offs and we know we have to win the next few games.
“We picked up a bonus point in our last home game but we wanted, and should have had, more. It wasn’t good enough and we know we can do a lot better.
“Gateshead will be be full of enthusiasm and confidence. We’ve never lost to them, but games have been getting closer all the time.
“Gateshead will be going all out for victory and we’ve got to be good enough on the day to get all three points. I can’t underestimate the importance of this Sunday’s match.”
Thunder coach Kevin Neighbour could give a debut to Jared Stewart, who has had spells with Newcastle Falcons and Leeds Rhinos during the early part of his career.
Captain Jason Payne is also set to return to action after recovering from a recent ankle problem.

Rochdale Hornets v Oxford (3.00pm)

Rochdale Hornets coach Ian Talbot could give a debut to loan signing Ruairi McGoff, who has joined on a one-month deal from Barrow Raiders.
Talbot said: “He’s a hard worker with bags of experience at the top of this league, and will give us an extra option during the run in.”
Oxford coach Tony Benson faces a number of selection headaches as he tries to maintain his side’s position in the top four.
Johnny Leather (hamstring) and Valu Bentley (ankle) both face late fitness tests, with Benson assessing their chances of playing at about 40 per cent.
Dave Ellison (broken jaw) and Lucas Onyango (knee) are both out, while Andrew Hoggins is missing due to an international call-up from Germany.
However, Benson admits he has been delighted by the progress his side have made in their debut year.
Benson said: “We assess things by the number of players who’ve played confidently having come from the local scene, and those numbers are good.
“I really can’t separate them from the more established players now, and some of them are first on the team sheet. That’s a really good sign for next year and the year after.”
Benson is hoping to collect at least two wins from Oxford’s final four league fixtures, with his side due to face Hemel, North Wales and London Skolars after Sunday’s clash with Rochdale.

Gloucestershire All Golds v London Skolars (3.00pm)

Gloucestershire All Golds coach Brad Hepi is setting his sights on a third successive win after seeing off Oxford and South Wales in the last month.
And Gloucestershire’s chances look set to receive a major boost with the inclusion of on-loan winger Nev Morrison, who has joined on a short-term deal from Sheffield Eagles.
Victory for Hepi’s men could lift them off the foot of the Kingstone Press Championship One table, but London Skolars will be in confident mood despite last week’s Northern Rail Bowl final defeat.
Skolars coach Joe Mbu could hand a debut to high-profile signing Gareth Raynor.
Former international winger Raynor, 35, scored the final try in Great Britain’s famous 2006 win against Australia in Sydney.
Raynor said: “I’m excited to be putting my boots back on and the opportunity to come to London and help Skolars push for promotion is a challenge that appealed to me greatly.”
Raynor is likely to replace Ade Adebisi, who suffered an injury during last week’s loss against North Wales.
Andy McLean (quad) is also a major doubt, while Michael Worrincy will be assessed after suffering a dead leg against the Crusaders.

Oldham v North Wales Crusaders (3.00pm)

Oldham coach Scott Naylor has been given a treble boost ahead of Sunday’s top-of-the-table showdown with North Wales Crusaders.
Oldham currently lead Kingstone Press Championship One by two points, but have played two games more than second-placed Crusaders.
Victory on Sunday would give Oldham more breathing space at the top of the table, and their chances have been boosted by the news that Jason Boults, Liam Gilchrist and Matthew Haggerty are all fully fit.
Crusaders’ only absentee is Owain Brown (personal reasons) as coach Clive Griffiths urges his squad to enjoy the last few weeks of the season.
Griffiths said: “We’re in another massive game and the winner will be in the box seat. That’s why you play the game – to test yourself. We need to enjoy it.
“There shouldn’t be a hangover from last week. We’ve had a couple of days to reflect and it’s now business as usual.
“And we’ll certainly pay Oldham the respect they deserve. They’re top of the league and favourites to win it – they always have been.”

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Oh my God! Clive has turned into Alex Ferguson!!! (MInd games).

good job john fieldhouse has said what they really think. To paraphrase, although Oldham could've sneaked the last game Crusaders had enough in reserve and will win at Whitebank. And tht Crusaders were always favourites. I think that's what will be pinned on the home dressing room this Sunday. Come on Oldham!

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Oh my God! Clive has turned into Alex Ferguson!!! (MInd games).

He he!!  Nice one Clive!.

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The important question will Dr Foster be going to Gloucester? :ph34r:

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Will be at the Oldham v N Wales fixture prior to driving back down South sunday.

So if saturday isnt close, at least this should be.

 

Go The Skolars at The All Golds. ;)

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Out of curiosity, what's the official capacity of Whitebank?

Last year I think it was limited to 1500 - 1800 , due to something to do with the perimiter fence. But happy to be put right on that.

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Out of curiosity, what's the official capacity of Whitebank?

According to the Oldham forum, they have opened up another standing area which takes it up to 1502. IT would be great if Oldham and Crusaders could get anywhere near that figure.  I would expect 150 to 200 to travel from North Wales.

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Scorpions have just announced that new Wigan and ex-Wales RU signing Andy Powell is to play on Sunday in their game against Gateshead.

 

Providing nobody plies him with booze and gives him a golf buggy, how do you think he will get on?

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Scorpions have just announced that new Wigan and ex-Wales RU signing Andy Powell is to play on Sunday in their game against Gateshead.

Providing nobody plies him with booze and gives him a golf buggy, how do you think he will get on?

He'll get on as a substitute.

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He'll get on as a substitute.

Very witty!!  I meant do you think he will be a natural, be totally out of his depth, be unfit, flake out after his first tackle (remember Alfie!). Personally I think he will turn out to be a good player but he was prone to knocking on in RU and I would expect player to attack his arms in the tackle. He will need to up his fitness levels to get into the Wigan side but I can see him playing for them before the end of the season.

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I am more interested to see if he gets any more people through the turnstile down there.

 

It's a shame that the Scorpions didn't have a few more days to push the fact he's playing for them, I suspect it would get a few curious punters through the door, which could have tied in nicely with the World Cup being in town as well.

 

Personally, I think he'll do pretty well. He might not know the intricacies of the game yet, but if you're good enough to play top level domestic RU, you're good enough to play third-tier RL - he'll be bigger than the majority of players he's likely to find at this level, and he'll be fitter (these lads are semi-pros, let us not forget), and that should carry him through at the very least.

 

Whilst Alfie did get a smashing in that first game, he was thrown in after about a week, in a Super League game, and played some good stuff once he acclimatised. Whilst Crusaders couldn't afford financially not to throw Alfie in the deep-end, Wigan seem to be taking their time about Powell - I just hope they give him enough game time so he can compete for a World Cup place.

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