South Wales Scorpions v Gateshead Thunder match preview

South Wales Scorpions are preparing for their longest trip of the season when they take on Gateshead Thunder at the Gateshead International Stadium this Sunday (kick-off 2.30pm).

The Scorpions won the home match 60-20 at The Gnoll in March and will be aiming to do the double over Gateshead in a match that signifies the half-way mark in the their second year.

They will also be hoping for the second win on the bounce after a 40-20 win over Oldham in Caerphilly last Sunday, a performance rated as their best this season.

“There’s a lot of confidence in the camp after last week’s game,” said Director of Rugby Mark Rowley, “And they’ve done really well in training this week. Everyone wants to play again after a win like that.
“It’s going to be difficult as there were many players who had a good game last week. It was a great performance.
“Dalton Grant has been really strong and comfortable on the wing for us. He’s deserved his chances recently, while Curtis Cunningham was strong too. There’s a lot of boys who are sticking their hand up for a place in the side. In terms of selection, I think it’ll be difficult to drop anyone after last week. There’s a lot of competition for places now.”

Gateshead Thunder Director of Rugby Chris Hood has urged his players to show their worth after a difficult week in the north east.

Gateshead coach Richard Pell and assistant Tim Rumford both left the club this week, leaving Hood to take charge for the rest of the season alongside newly-appointed first team coach Kevin Neighbour.

Hood said: “We’re used to doing it tough - that’s one thing that we do have a lot of experience of.
“The big thing for me is that the players realise they’re only halfway through the season and there are still a lot of games to go.
“They’ve got a huge part to play in how we finish the season. There are a lot of young players here - the majority of our squad is under 23 - and they’ve got to show their ambition and take this opportunity.”

Jason Payne (bruised ribs), Mitchell Stevens (hamstring), Robin Peers (groin) and Ryan Clarke (illness) are all expected to be missing from Gateshead’s team on Sunday.

The match has a new kick-off time of 2.30pm, delayed by an hour and half as an athletics event has been re-arranged for the Gateshead International Stadium in the morning.


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