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Match Day 17 - Acklam (a)

Match Day 17 - Acklam (a)

Magnus Leask2 Feb - 19:59
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Novos travel to Acklam on Saturday hoping to continue their recent momentum as they look for their third win in a row.

Both the 1st and 2nd XV will make the trip to Acklam tomorrow, looking to take home victories from a place that has been proven very difficult away day in recent years.

The 1st XV are looking to start the month of February on a high, after winning 3 from 4 of their games so far this year. Only 6 games remain for the men in red, white and black in the league so every win and bonus point will now be crucial for the final standings. After an emphatic win to Ponteland last weekend Novos are looking to showcase some of their trademark attacking style of play again tomorrow.

Our opponents, however, have looked very dangerous at times this season, scoring 10 bonus try points in only 14 games played! They have 2 games in hand in comparison to the rest of most other teams in the league, so their current position of 6th doesn’t necessarily reflect the nature of their performances so far this season. Putting impressive scores past some of the top contesting teams in the league especially at their home ground suggests Novocastrians will not be taking this fixture lightly regardless of their recent impressive form.

The 1st XV name a few changes from the team that beat Ponteland last week, including none other than the return of the skillful Ollie Towe to the squad. The versatile player is comfortable at both 9 and 10 and after an impressive performance last week away to Alnwick he has received a well-deserved nod from the coaches to start with the 9 shirt as last week's scrum half Rhys Merlane is pushed to the wing to unlock his elusive running ability against what we predict to be a larger Acklam team.

Outside Towe, the familiar face of Chater pulls on the 10 shirt again, after a long stint of playing 80 minutes over the past few months' week in week out Chater has done well to stay injury-free this season and it has proved to be of huge value to us. He will be making the most of a well-deserved rest period next week after tomorrow’s final push until we face South Shields & Westoe at home on the 17th.

The centres remain unchanged still this week, Ben Jubb travels up from Leeds for the game for another outing in a Novo’s shirt, whilst Michael Searle remains solid as ever in the 12 channels The two linked up brilliantly last week and will look to do the same again tomorrow to get some points on the board for the team.

Rounding out the backs are the reliable as ever Sam Busby and Brandon Gilbert. Busby brings a level head to this game and some lightening fast feet he put on display last week creating one of the best tries this season. Gilbert is a workhorse around the park in both defense and attack and as usual his energy to rally the troops will be of crucial importance in a tricky fixture.

The front row is changed slightly this week too. Rhys Gibbons returns to the squad to replace the travelling, Tom Dias. Morgan Scrace, who had a spectacular game last week back in a Novos Shirt keeps his starting place and the powerful Tom Taylor will pack down opposite him to combat the Acklam scrum.

The squad once again this week, enjoys the presence of Jeremy Hunt and Johnny Allton, adept at making both metres and linebreaks the pairing have set up dozens of opportunities for the team to score this season providing a great platform to play off every game.

Finally, the non-stop engine that is our back row stays the same. The combination of captain George Bambrick, Louis Matthews and Dylan Gittins has been nothing short of epic so far this season, assisting in tries, winning turnovers and outworking the opposition every time they play. It promises to be an exciting showing tomorrow with both teams determined to score as many points as possible in what should be some nice weather!

The finishers are Johnny McSorley, Sion Gittins and Matthew Russell - amazing 18 to travel to Acklam and keep us on a roll.

Up The Vos!

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