Stockton are on a 6 game winning streak at the moment including impressive wins against Barnard Castle and Durham City recently. Having viewed the footage from Saturday vs City they had more energy, played with real attacking width and overcame two yellow cards to get a rare away win at City. They will go into the game as clear favourites despite our home win against them in our first home game of the season, winning 25-24. They seem a different side these days with a good coaching set up and some new players who have improved the player pool significantly - a huge challenge for our group.
However, we too are much changed from that day - only three forwards remain in the starting pack from that match in Pete Twentyman, Daniel Shuttleworth and Sean Ramsay. Josh Stacey, Chris Ward, Adam McDonald, Ben Merrett and Shaun Stewart make up the starting pack this time out. They will need to deny Stockton at source - not an easy task after Stockton dominated City's scrum last week.
In the backs Henry Wilson returns to the squad which negates the unavailability of Lewis Chater who got injured on Saturday. Jez Nash moves to scrum half after a fine 50 min there on Saturday after Chater's injury. Calling the shots outside him will be Rich Harrison who was very influential on Saturday with some great tactical kicking and excellent decision making. Novos strength recently has been the outside backs - again we look strong in this area with Tom Winning having a great debut season at 13. The back three will be hoping for attacking opportunities when the game becomes loose in the last 20-30 mins - Jonny Ward, Ben Wollerton and Sam Busby will be charged with finishing things.
It promises to be an important match as Stockton look to consolidate fourth position and we look to stay in the top six. A win would see an incredible platform laid for a run at the January fixtures. Some winnable games lie ahead as we welcome back our boys home from university in Bruno Smith, Daniel Whitaker, Tommy Bilclough, Cameron Spencer and Jack Hearn to name just a few.
In home matches our 2's play Northern and the 4's play Washington. After which the club will partake in our Xmas Party from 1900 so hopefully we will be celebrating a win or three.
First team at Stockton 1415 - Peter Twentyman (Capt) Daniel Shuttleworth, Josh Stacey, Adam McDonald, Chris Ward, Shaun Stewart, Ben Merrett, Sean Ramsay, Jez Nash, Rich Harrison, Ben Wollerton, Henry Wilson, Tom Winning, Jonny Ward, Sam Busby, Euan Duncan, Stephen Hughes-Narbrorough
Second Team home to Northern at 1415 - Christian Selkirk, Zach Weatherhead, Jamie Wallace, Ian Pratt, Ollie Dearden, Rhys Gibbons, Chris Law, Billy Porter, Jamie Lishman, Cameron Spencer, John Marshall, Tim Hart, Ben Kelly, David Marshall, Jonny Walker, Gus Graham, Nick Bellamy, Jonny Bulfin, Rory Davidson
Fourth Team home to Washington at 1400 - Andrew McKenna, Ant McQuillan, John Watson, Jack Shanahan, Chris Brown, Charlie Willis, Will Patrick, Jeff Burke, Ben Holman, Jack Pellew, Hayden Williamson, Will Evans, Mark Hemmings, Nick Moss, Jonny Loves, Rob Reid, Nathan Harrap, Tom Burford, Pete Jones, Dave Sears, Stephen Wood - anyone else who wants to play just bring your boots for 1300.
See you all on Saturday - Up The Vos !!
Updated 13:20 - 17 Dec 2018 by Fran Mockford