Malton & Norton Preview

By Dave Picken - December 15 2017
Malton & Norton Preview It's been a hard season since we lost our first away game at Malton and Norton but this week we will hopefully get the chance to get a little bit of our own back ...

We arrived late for the game at The Gannock and found a home side wanting to start their home season with a bang. They raced into a 19-0 and when we did get going in the second half we came up against a resolute defence losing 25-16.

Sadly, that was the start of a run of away defeats, which will hopefully come to an end in 2018.

Before that we go into the last league game of the year with the prospect of fielding one of our strongest sides as we battle to get out of the relegation places in North One East.

Several experienced players are now available, and would have played against league new boys West Leeds at Brinkburn last week.

That game fell foul of an overnight frost, and frustrated head coach Stu Hardy and skipper Carl Miller (pictured) are  keeping their fingers crossed that the home pitch will be in better condition this week when mid-table M&N visit. The snow has gone and the pitch was given a thorough spiking during the week - so let's hope the frost stays away.

M&N have established a relationship where they can take advantage of work permit rules which allows players from South African townships to play in the UK. As a result they have been able to introduce some exotic names, and some dangerous runners, to their line-up. However, lively full back Zweli Sodladla suffered a concussion a few weeks ago and will be missing this week.

For once, we have the right kind of selection problems with a veritable host of Liams to choose from in the shape of Messrs Austwicke, Checksfield and Bailey.

Bailey, who captained the Hartlepool team at the Bangkok 7’s, will  make only his third start of the season, Austwicke his second and Checksfield his fourth. There is also the return of Scott Butcher who will come into the back row with skipper Carl Miller taking it easy on  the bench after his knee injury.

However, Alex Key will be missing after a nose operation so Andrew Rollins moves to prop and Jordan Foulds coming in at hooker.

At least four points are a must with Malton and Norton one of eight teams who look like slugging it out with us at the bottom of the table.

West: Liam Austwicke, Will Hillditch,   Peter Youll, Gavin Painter, Liam Checksfield, Zac Southern, Ryan Painter (capt), Adam Coates, Jordan Foulds, Andrew Rollins, Jake Linighan, John Bunter, Liam Bailey, Scott Butcher, Andrew Turner.

Changes: Craig Hadwen, Adam Peacock, Carl Miller

Malton & Norton Preview
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
15/12/2017 09:37
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Re: Malton & Norton Preview
15/12/2017 10:58
Not nice outside. Fingers crossed that the game is on and good luck lads. Time to get stuck in for your club and start moving up that league table.

Re: Malton & Norton Preview
RoverandOut (IP Logged)
15/12/2017 12:17
Big dilemma for you tomorrow WPA: shopping, golf or rugby....?

Re: Malton & Norton Preview
Roni C (IP Logged)
15/12/2017 13:15
Looks a good strong team........hopefully the game goes ahead as we may not get them all together again for a while :)

Re: Malton & Norton Preview
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
15/12/2017 14:07
Roni I'm afraid that's a big part of the problem with injuries the other big issue.
The club New Year resolution should be if you can possibly make it play on a Saturday for whichever team you are selected fo.
Even better turn out for training at least once a week.

Re: Malton & Norton Preview
15/12/2017 17:11
R&O. Weather permitting I shall be at West. Thanks for the interest.

Re: Malton & Norton Preview
RoverandOut (IP Logged)
15/12/2017 17:23
Just checking as I remember your conflicts of interest ha ha 😀

Merry Christmas, will look out for you on Boxing Day, don’t rush off as winner buys, you never know that might mean a freebie for you!

Re: Malton & Norton Preview
LesterP (IP Logged)
15/12/2017 21:40
Wise words from Parental Unit and as KB used to say to us "You don't decide whether you play at home or away .... I do !!! "

Come on lads let's have a win and make sure we provide a nice "warm" welcome to M&N/SA - esp in the first ten minutes.

Stand fast lads - no surrender !

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