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Men's Preview - Match 16 - Ponteland (h)

Men's Preview - Match 16 - Ponteland (h)

Ben Jubb26 Jan - 18:10
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The 1st and 3rd XV have Ponteland visit Sutherland park for a 14:00 kick off this Saturday, as a strong 2's team make the trip to Alnwick.

Ponteland will be the next hurdle for Novocastrians to face this Saturday as they look to finish the month on a high. After a shaky start to last week's game, Novocastrians found themselves 17-6 down after 30 minutes before keeping Ryton scoreless for 50 minutes to get back to winning ways.

Ponteland will be wanting to spoil our party however, as they are currently enjoying a mini winning streak, putting impressive scores past Medicals, Ryton and Hartlepool in the process. But, winning away at Sutherland park is no easy feat as all but 1 of Novos opponents this season can tell you, with a record of 6 wins and only a single loss to top of the table guisborough, but there is no team that will want to topple us more than Ponteland.

We put out one of the strongest teams we have seen this season, with a couple of changes being made from last week's game. Tom Dias comes in to replace Rhys Gibbons at hooker and last seasons top try scorer will bring his accuracy to our lineout to keep us with the ball in hand in the important areas of the field. Packing down next time him is the ever reliable Johnny McSorely and last weeks Man Of The Match Tom Taylor who was all over the park last week, disrupting ball at ruck time and making several big tackles.

Last week's pairing of Johnny Alton and Jeremy Hunt retain their shirts for the game and a mix of power and stylish offloading between the two will hopefully open up Ponteland's defence. The back row also stays the same; Dylan Gittins, Louis Matthews and captain George Bambrick all had a typical performance by their standards last week as all three of them were on fire, winning turnover after turnover and making several linebreaks each over the course of the 80 minutes.

The Dynamic duo of Rhys Merlane and Lewis Chater partner up again at 9 and 10, their individual skill and confidence with ball in hand causes problems for any team they face in this league, and after both missing out on the score-sheet for the first time in quite a while, hopefully the conditions are somewhat improved from last week so they can get the team over the white line again.

Micheal Searle and Ben Jubb pair up again this week, the two try scorers from the weekend will want to make their next performance together almost identical to their last. Searle scored 19 of our points against Ryton as well as winning the turnover that would seal the game for us in the final minute of play. He has been instrumental to the squad's progress and success this season, whether it's scoring the winning kick or turning the ball in the dying seconds of a match. Currently acting in a player-coach role his influence in the squad's physicality particularly during the second half of crucial matches has been nothing short of brilliant and he is going to be the man to watch this Saturday as last time out against Ponteland he outplayed his opposite number in every area of the pitch.

Jubb scored a try of his own as well last week and will be bringing his energy from the 13 channel to rally the rest of the squad.

The back 3 sees the return of the elusive Harry Tankard back from holiday, Tankard's last game in a Novos shirt was against Sunderland when he created a stunning score from inside his own half. Sam Busby pushes over to the wing and Brandon Gilbert will match him on the other side as Eoghan Phillips will make his impact from the bench having the ability to play in a number of positions in both the back three and in the centres.

Joining Eoghan on the bench is Novos own bomb squad in the form of Morgan Scrace and Sion Gittins. Morgan, a promising talent, has had nothing short of praise in every appearance he has made for the club and Gittins returns to playing after a couple weeks away.

After convincingly beating Ponteland away from home at the start of the season and will dismantle 8th place Ponteland with a typical show of flair Sutherland Park sees every time any Novos side plays there.

As for the 2nd XV they face a tough challenge travelling up to Alnwick to play their second team, but bring one of the strongest 2nd XV lineups that we have seen so far this season. Multiple regular and experienced first teamers, such as Shaun Stewart, Sam Bird and countless others will give Alnwick a strong showing.

1st XV meet time 12:30 to kick off at 14:00 – Johnny Mcsorley, Morgan Scrace, Tom Taylor, Jonathan Alton, Jeremy Hunt, Louis Matthews, George Bambrick, Dylan Gittins, Rhys Merlane, Lewis Chater, Brandon Gilbert, Micheal Searle, Ben Jubb, Sam Busby, Harry Tankard, Sion Gittins, Tom Dias, Eoghan Phillips

2nd XV meet time 11:50 to kick off at 14:00 – Rhys Gibbons, Zach Weatherhead, Charlie Lawlor, Theo Mouille, Ewan Strachan, Simeon Archibald, Zac Smith, Josh Hood, Ollie Towe, Jack Povey, Zinzan Fraser, Shaun Stewart, Barney Youlden, Luke Masters, Sam Bird, Rhys, Spowart, Daniel Sweeney, Harry Mason, Dylan Mills, Jack Ribton, Ben Hawkins, Ethan Morton

3rd XV meet time 12:30 to kick off 14:00 – Vuyo Nossa-Yabantu, Ant McQuillan, Ian Wood, Chris Ward, Jack Bolam, Thomas Platt, Alex Cokeley, Alex Watson, Christian Selkirk, Jack Thompson, Adam Lambert, Ross Cleminson, James Bass, James Douglas, Ben Wilkinson, Arthur Wallis, Rohan Cook, Sean Hamill, Jamie Killoh, Charlie Dunbavin, Ethan Longhurst, Adam Longstaff

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