Rugby preview: Heath face trip to Scarborough while Rishies host Bradford Salem

Heath Firsts travel to Scarborough for this week’s North 1 East game - their first away fixture of the 2021/22 season.

By Tom Scargill
Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 3:55 pm
Rugby union - Heath v Pocklington. Saif Boussaada for Heath.
Rugby union - Heath v Pocklington. Saif Boussaada for Heath.

The two clubs last played back in March 2018, at West Vale, when Heath ran out winners in a tense 20–17 victory, a game in which Heath’s forwards were dominant.

Earlier in the season, the away fixture also had Heath running out winners but with a slightly better margin of 26–17, Heath putting in an excellent performance on that day as well.

Heath are looking forward to the trip to the coast after last week’s hard fought but well deserved win over Pocklington, which saw the West Vale men cope both with late cry-offs through injury, injuries in the game and a sin-binning.

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Young centre Joe Morrison made his debut for the club and proved to be a powerful contributor to the team’s performance – picking up the man of the match for his efforts.

Matt Hallett put in the tackle of the day in that game starts this week’s game at outside centre.

Second row Saif Boussaada picked up a knock and is replaced for this Saturday’s game by the returning Gavin Rhodes. Fergus Marsden, in the pack, and centre Tom Owen are both unavailable.

However, there’s a welcome return for captain Chris Moore, back from injury. The vastly experienced Paul Turner is available and joins him in the front-row.

Training during the week has been good and fitness levels are already showing well, adding to the team’s confidence.

Heath Seconds play host to Ilkley Seconds in a friendly game. The visitors have strength in depth as a club and their First XV put away Consett 82–0 last Saturday, so spirits will be high throughout.

Heath, for their part, are similarly buoyed from their pre-season games and good performances in training, and are now relishing getting their season started.

Rishworthians entertain Bradford Salem keen to kick-start their Yorkshire One season with a home win against old foes.

Last week they came unstuck at Beverley, with injuries playing a major part in their defeat.

It leaves them without classy fullback Luke Sutcliffe and newcomer Sam Gill, but able to bring in two of their most experienced players, record try scorer wing Anthony Shoesmith and scrum half Liam Phillips.

Head coach Richard Brown said: “We competed well in areas at Beverley, notably up front and at times in the backs until we were disrupted by losing three players to injuries.

“We have been training well and should have a good chance on our own pitch if we can just up our game a bit.”

Last week Salem beat Roundhegians, who came up with Rishworthians from Yorkshire Two. Back in the 2018-19 Yorkshire One season Rishworthians had close encounters with Salem, drawing 20–20 away and losing 22–26 at Copley.