Last week’s rugby in Yorkshire was once again washed out by a combination of ice-bound grounds and a snow storm which dumped what appeared to be about six inches of snow on Silver Royd last Friday evening.
It’s an ill wind...as they say and the quiet day enabled us of a Scottish persuasion to recover from the previous evening’s Burns Night celebrations.
Scarborough are on the road on Saturday as they travel to Ilkley to play the league fixture which fell foul of the weather two weeks ago.
They’ll look to avenge a narrow 20-18 last-minute defeat in the corresponding game at Silver Royd back in September when they trailed the west Yorkshiremen 10-3 at half-time but came back strongly after the break to lead 15-10 thanks to tries from Tom Ratcliffe and winger Paul White.
A try from Ilkley fullback Stuart Vincent levelled the scores before Ratcliffe edged Scarborough 18-15 ahead with a penalty near the end.
Tom Harrison was yellow carded in the closing minutes and Ilkley took advantage of their numerical advantage with an injury-time try to shade the game 20-18.
Ilkley did make a good start to the season including that win at Scarborough but have lost four out of their last five games including a 27-21 reverse at Heath three weeks ago.
Scarborough on the other hand have lost only one of their last four games at Heath two weeks ago where they missed the steadying influence of Craig Farrell in the centre.
Former rugby league star Farrell played first team rugby and coached the Scarborough backs last season and followed that with a summer season of amateur rugby league with the Pirates.
He only started playing union this season before Christmas and his performances have contributed to victories against Barnsley, Pontefract and Bridlington where his defensive organisation was outstanding.
It’s likely that coach Jason Lowde will name the same squad who were due to take on Dinnington last week for this one.
With the quirks of the fixture list and the intervention of the weather, a home game is a rarity for Scarborough whose derby win against Bridlington on the January 12 will have been their only game at Silver Royd between the defeat of Barnsley on December 15 and the fixture with North Ribblesdale on February 16; that’s a couple of months.
Although the Seasiders may feel like strangers on their own patch at the moment, they finish off the season with five out of their last eight games at home.
Ex-Scarborough prop forward Darren Fearn has been signed by Saracens on loan from his club Bedford Blues as cover for the London club’s international stars on Six Nations duty.
Darren will make his debut for Sarries at their new Allianz Park home on Sunday when Cardiff Blues are the visitors in the LV=Cup.
Sunday’s match is a test event at Allianz Park with a limited attendance and in team news ahead of what will also be the first professional game on the artificial turf pitch; Darren will start alongside Alex Goode and Mouritz Botha who have both been released by England.
Saturday’s sees the eagerly awaited start of the RBS Six Nations Championships.
The action starts at lunchtime with champions Wales taking on Ireland at the Millennium Stadium with the bookies calling Ireland in this one following Wales’ run of seven straight defeats before this game.
Coming off the back of their thrashing of New Zealand, England should pretty much have their own way against a Scotland side who have won only two games in the competition in the last couple of seasons.
On Sunday Italy hosts France who were sensationally beaten 22-21 on their last pilgrimage to Rome two years ago; so hardly a foregone conclusion there.
All three games will be shown in the bar and the big screen at the J.M. Guthrie; Wales at 1.30pm and England 4pm on Saturday and Italy at 3pm on Sunday.