1st XV Match Preview V Blaydon (A) Sat 25/02/2017 

by Glyn Barlow

Our opponents Blaydon currently sit one place and one point above the relegation spot in the league, in 15thspot. To date the team have won five games, against Fylde 30-24, Esher 17-7, Blackheath 28-11, Macclesfield 7-15 and Ionians 66-14 along with a 24-24 draw against Macclesfield.

In recent weeks Blaydon have also pushed the likes of Cambridge, Darlington, Fylde and Coventry close but unfortunately have not achieved the results to mirror their efforts. The season’s frustrations have been compounded with heavy losses to Loughborough (38-63), Blackheath (59-17), Hartpury (5-47 & 80-19), Esher (71-24) and Rosslyn Park (51-14).

In September Blaydon’s visit to Billesley Common ended in a 41-13, six try,  victory to Birmingham Moseley in which Jacques Le Roux put in an exceptional performance to cross the try line twice.

Despite results going against them Blaydon have proved they are no strangers when it comes to finding their way to the try line having picked up seven bonus points to date. Hooker’s Matt Thompson (9) and Jack Beckworth (6) have led the way, possibly suggesting the rolling maul may be a favoured weapon.

This week Birmingham Moseley team have a chance to return to winning ways and better an away record which has seen them lose four of their nine away trips. It is a stark contrast to the home performances to date, although some of the tougher away fixtures have arguably fallen in the first half of the season. A target of a 100% away record for the remainder of the season could and should be achievable. Let’s hope it starts with five points being brought back down the M1 this weekend.