20th August 2016, 14:12 | league1

League 1 Shield: Weekend Previews

League 1 Shield: Weekend Previews

Hemel Stags v Newcastle Thunder (Sunday, 2:30pm)

Hemel Stags suffered another big defeat, losing 74-18 at University of Gloucestershire All Golds. Coach Troy Perkins said: “We’ve got a young team and we’re getting battered from pillar to post. I was very disappointed, I went there with a bit of confidence. Our personnel is decent at the moment but unfortunately the first half was atrocious.

“To concede 50-odd points in a half of rugby is something I’ve never experienced before and I’m sure those players haven’t either. In the second half at least we showed a bit of character but that doesn’t disguise the performance we put in in that first half, which is unacceptable

“Newcastle are scoring plenty of points so it’s another big challenge for us. We’re at home so hopefully we can use that to our advantage. As a group we’ve had a good look at ourselves this week and there needs to be a lot more pride in our performance.”

Newcastle Thunder had an impressive 62-18 win at Oxford to continue their recent run of good form. Coach Mick Mantelli said: “I thought we played well in patches, there’s not too many games where we’re there for the full 80. We’re getting there but I think we backed off a few times. We’re trying to build a club that will take us into the Championship and in the long term Super League.

“I’m making a few changes this week, we’ll probably bring in another four or five players. No disrespect to Hemel but it brings in enthusiasm. The squad we’ve got I think is pretty good, so if we bring these young kids in and give them a go that should rub off on the ones around them.

“Obviously Hemel got trounced by Gloucester at the weekend. I’m sure Troy will rev them up. They’re going to be up for a bit of revenge, it doesn’t matter who they’re playing. We need to concentrate on what we need to do and again it’s about us looking after our game.”


South Wales Scorpions v Oxford (Sunday, 3:00pm)

South Wales Scorpions didn’t have a game last week. Coach Phil Carleton said: “We had some bumps and bruises so it was nice to give the boys a rest but after that win it would have been good to play. But we’ve used the time efficiently so it shouldn’t count against us.

“I’ve been keeping a close eye on all the teams in that bottom seven. Oxford have had a couple of wins but also some tough losses as well. We know it’s not going to be easy this weekend but at the same time we’re expecting to put in a performance and hopefully we’ll win.”

After a couple of good wins Oxford lost 62-18 at home to Newcastle Thunder. Coach Tim Rumford said: “Newcastle, a team with plenty of experience, just rolled us in the middle. Our forwards were far too weak and weren’t willing to put their shoulders to the metal and their outside backs just bounced us on the edges. If you don’t turn up against teams like that with the right attitude, it’s going to be a long afternoon.

“Earlier in the season we lost to South Wales and it was probably our most disappointing defeat of the season. They are a real honest, hard-working side and as a club and a team that have come on in leaps and bounds.

“They keep the ball in the middle quite a lot and are very direct and they become hard to deal with if you’re not prepared to tackle them as hard as they want to run.

“If we don’t turn up with a real good attitude and really want to whack them about in the middle especially, we’ll be in for another tough afternoon. We need to produce our best to get anything out of the game.”


Coventry Bears v University of Gloucestershire All Golds (Sunday, 3:00pm)

Coventry Bears won 30-28 at North Wales Crusaders. Coach Tom Tsang said: “It was our first win against a Northern team, which was fantastic. It was well-deserved by the boys and it was good to bounce back from the frustration of the previous week. We were behind by a couple of tries a few times in the game but to come back and show some character was really pleasing.

“Gloucester are coming into this on the back of a great win. We’re a little bit light this week with a few injuries and unavailabilities so we need to see how we go, but it will be a good test of our depth. The guys that we bring in are guys that have been in and around the squad so we’ll see how we go.”

It proved a perfect weekend for University of Gloucestershire All Golds coach Lee Greenwood. Not only did the All Golds enjoy a record 74-18 home win over Hemel Stags, but Lee was persuaded turn out for his old club Siddal the day before and played his part in their away win.

“I don’t think they’ll be asking me back anytime soon,” said Lee, “but it was nice to play.”

On the All Golds’ record win he said: “We’ve scored points all season but keeping them out has been a big issue. What’s generally happening in every game is we’ve gone through a patch where we’ve been pretty poor and conceded a load of points. On Sunday that didn’t happen, we just kept it going for 80 minutes. It was a complete performance

“We needed that really and we go into this game with a bit of confidence but so will Coventry after their good win. I’m sure they’ll be well up for it but if we turn it on for 80 minutes like we did on Sunday, we’ll win. That’s been the challenge we’ve had all season.”

They will be without half-back Brendon Newton who has returned to Australia.