From The Touchline - with Dave Campbell

Scarborough RUFC's communications officer Dave Campbell's weekly column - From The Touchline
Scarborough RUFC's communications officer Dave Campbell's weekly column - From The Touchline

With no Yorkshire One action on Saturday Coach Jason Lowde has a chance to re-group his shell-shocked troops who for most of the last couple of months have not been in a good place as far as results are concerned.

A great start to their league campaign saw the Seasiders win their opening three games; however their comprehensive 48-11 defeat of strugglers Knottingley at Silver Royd on October 13 has been their only success since mid-September.

To be fair four of those defeats were by less than a score which was a problem early last season as the men from Silver Royd had trouble closing out close games. However the problem this campaign has been a failure to get out of their blocks quickly enough in matches and struggling to play catch-up.

However, I’m sure Lowde will be telling his men to put the recent run of poor results behind them and that next week’s home game with Pontefract is the first game of the rest of the season.

Things haven’t been easy injury-wise and following a start which marked him out as one of the most dynamic number sevens in the league, Ben Wilson has been carrying a knee injury, Nino Cutino has been suffering from a stomach problem and until the last couple of games Billy Parker has been playing in pain.

Luke Raines, who converted from a back row last season, started this campaign at prop and converted to hooker for last week’s game at Huddersfield and his big hearted performance saw him named man of the match.

However, he can’t do it all and perhaps this break from action will see the side return to the dynamic, aggressive form they showed back in September.

The club has signed a back row forward who made his debut for the Vikings in their 26-12 defeat of Hull Ionians at Silver Royd last Saturday and he should make his first XV debut against Pontefract; however Zbynec Schutz who is on international duty for the Czech Republic against Sweden in Prague on Saturday will be in the Ukraine for another international match on the 17th and will miss the Ponte game. Everyone is working hard behind the scenes to bring playing success to the club and with three out of the four league games before Christmas at home and a squad of fit players things might look very different by Yuletide.

This month will see all four home nations entertain the cream of southern hemisphere rugby; it all forms part of a busy period of intense international rugby with a total of 18 autumn test matches being played between November 10 and December 1.

An injury-hit England squad have called up Gloucester’s Freddie Burns and Billy Twelvetrees as replacements for Jordan Turner-Hall and Jonathan Joseph who are both nursing injuries.

Led by skipper Chris Robshaw this relatively inexperienced side in transition will look to get off to a flying start against Fiji who are rated 14th in the International Rugby Board (IRB) and have never beaten England, as they prepare for the challenge of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand on consecutive Saturdays at Twickenham.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Wales entertain Argentina in Cardiff, South Africa take on Ireland in Dublin and on Sunday Scotland have the daunting task of facing the All Blacks at Murrayfield.

You can catch the England and Ireland games on the big screens at the J.M. Guthrie which kick off at 2.30 and 5.30 respectively and the Scotland game on Sunday at 2.30pm.

Darren Fearn (pictured left), a product of the Scarborough youth set-up who moved from Newcastle Falcons to Bedford Blues in the summer, started against his old club in the RFU Championship last Saturday.

Although they trailed 20-6 at one stage, a great fightback saw the Blues gain parity then slip 20-26 behind; they were in with a real chance of a win in the closing stages before a late drop-goal from Newcastle’s Jimmy Gopperth sealed victory for the Geordies.

However it’s great to hear of a Scarborough ‘old boy’ mixing it in such exalted company and doing so well.

At the time of going to press there is only one fixture scheduled at Silver Royd on Saturday when the Norsemen host Beverley Bandits.

The Vikings travel to Hullensians Hawks in a Merit Table fixture. All games kick-off at 2.15pm.

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