Latest News:

Opinions expressed on this message board are solely those of the individual author. No endorsement of such opinions by the editors, Sportnetwork or Sale Sharks can or should be inferred.

County Championship Rugby This Weekend
Dave Swanton (IP Logged)
22 May, 2009 14:05
Lancashire are boosted by the unexpected availability of their captain and Roses match winner Steve Nutt for their crucial RU County Championship Bill Beaumont Cup game against Northumberland at Sedgley Park tomorrow (Saturday, May 23).
The Fylde full-back was scheduled to be travelling to the North East tomorrow for the wedding of a friend, but decided that he ought to be with Lancashire and will now be donning the No 15 jersey after all.
"Steve was in a massive dilemma," says Lancashire Coach Mark Nelson: "I was very difficult for him as Lancashire captain and he had to make a hard decision. That he decided to play just shows the depth of the commitment this group of players has to the cause.
"We're delighted that he can play. He won the game for us last week, he's a good leader as captain and he controls the game for us from full-back."
While Nutt plays, centre Tom Barlow is ruled out because he is taking an RFU Level Two coaching course and cannot get release. Wingman Matt Williams is out with an ankle injury, but England Counties XV wingman Oliver Brennand is available after injury and takes over.
While Lancashire are favourites to claim the Twickenham spot, Nelson is focusing exclusively on his side delivering a quality performance and not being seduced by favourable statistics going into the game.
"If you start to look at the numbers, you get into extremely dangerous territory," he says: "It creates totally the wrong mindset and can easily undo you.
"We have zero control over what happens at Hull between Yorkshire and Warwickshire and our only focus can be on Northumberland.
"They are a good side, well coached and will be fired up for the game because they can still get to Twickenham. We need to be at our best."
Northumberland have a handful of players returning and unavailable, but show only one change behind the scrum, where Jack Smales takes over at fly-half from unavailable Charlie Rayner.

Yorkshire have 10 changes to the side beaten at Fylde, mainly through unavailability and injury, as they seek to achieve the kind of margin that would enable them to take advantage of a Northumberland victory.
John Buchanan replaces Andrew Baggett at centre and Otley's Xavier Andre comes in for the injured Steve Parsons on the wing. Jonny West replaces unavailable Dave McCormack at no 9, while Yorkshire have six changes in a re-shaped pack, Old Belvedere lock Paul Spivey and Huddersfield back-row forward Nick Sharpe being the only newcomers to the forward squad.
"We're not going into the game thinking about a big win. We've got to win the game to start with, so we've picked a solid side," says coach Bob Hood: "I've also pointed out that a heavy defeat could result is us being relegated, but I think the lads are up for it and we'll play some good rugby tomorrow."
Despite a rash of cry offs due to holidays and social commitments, Durham have named a useful side to take on Oxfordshire in the Semi-Final of the County Championship Plate at Blackwell Meadows, Darlington tomorrow (kick-ff 2pm).
Darlington Mowden Park scrum-half Martin Lithgo makes his debut and with skipper Gareth Nesbit unavailable the captaincy moves West Hartlepool hooker, Andrew Dixon.
A features of the squad is the inclusion of three Evans brothers from Billingham - Michael on the wing, Peter on the bench and fly-half Joe as travelling reserve.
This match is the third meeting between the two sides, every meeting being at home for the Dunelmians, Durham came out on top 6-3 back in 1965 we the sides met at the New Friarage in the County Championship semi, Durham County Patron Mike Weston, was skipper that day and a penalty goal scorer. The sides last met in 2005 when an equally close fought game took place at Gateshead again with Durham emerging winners by an even closer score of 23 - 21.
Cheshire, who entertain North Midlands at Macclesfield in the Northern group decider in the County Championship Shield, have lock Paul Ralph resuming after work commitments last weekend, with Matt Owen moving into the back-row, where Sam Dickinson gets a start this week after coming on as replacement last week.
"We may need to try and play our rugby a bit further from our own line this week," says joint Team Manager Dave Partington: "The lads have tried to play some very open Rugby and we've backed them. They've been great. But maybe they crossed the line in terms of when to be bold and when to kick last week and we may need to rein in a touch.
"It was like watching the red arrows at one stage and it's great to see. They're a good set of lads, they've enjoyed their rugby and it would be nice to take them all the way."

Lancashire (v Northumberland at Sedgley Park): Stephen Nutt (Fylde) capt; Nicholas Royle (Fylde), Mark Turner (Caldy), Matthew Riley (Sedgley Park), Oiver Brennand (Fylde); Alex Davies (Plymouth Albion), Ryan de Laharpe (West Park); Petrus Du Plessis (Sedgley Park), David Ward (Sale), Robert O'Donnell (Sale), Louis McGowan (Rotherham Titans), Sam Beaumont (Fylde), Juan Crous (Sedgley Park), Daniel Baines (Macclesfield), Sebastian Moss (Manchester). Replacements: Keiran Brookes (Fylde), Charlie Baleirara (West Park), Andrew Dockray (Preston Grasshoppers), Tim Fourie (Rossendale), Garth Dew (Manchester), Russell Flynn (Preston Grasshoppers), Craig Aikman (Fylde).
Northumberland: Will Massey (Tynedale); Simon Barber (Blaydon), Jack Harrison (Tynedale), Fraser Shaw (Tynedale), Alan Rogers (Morpeth); Jack Smales (Tynedale), David Kay (Morpeth); Robbie Kalbraier (Blaydon), Matt Hall (Blaydon), David Dickinson (Morpeth), David Guthrie (Blaydon), Graeme Smith (London Scottish), Matthew Fieldhouse (Tynedale), Jamie Murray (Tynedale), Jason Smithson (Blaydon). Replacements: Andrew Johnson (Alnwick), Alastair Hall (Jedforest), Andrew Duggan (Morpeth), Paul Winter (Blaydon), Jamie Harrison (Tynedale), Seb Trotter (Jedforst), Chris Reynolds (Morpeth).
Yorkshire (v Warwickshire at Hull Ionians): Richard Wainwright (Manchester); Xavier Andre (Otley), Kyle Dench (Otley), John Buchanan (Otley), Danny Smith (Hull Ionans); Chris Johnson (Huddersfield), Jonny West (Rotherham Titans); Ryan Wederell (Otley), Richard Horton (Middlesbrough), Paul Turner (Halifax), Dan Cook (Hull) capt, Paul Spivey (Old Belvedere), Dave Worrall (Beverley), Latu Macaafi (Hull), Rob Devonshire (Hull). Replacements: Matthew Challinor (Rotherham Titans), Nick Sharpe (Huddersfield), Will Kay (Otley), Chris Steel (Otley), Andrew Baggett (Blaydon), Danny McGee (Halifax), Chris Kendra (Hull).
Durham (v Oxfordshire at Darlington, 2pm): Iain Dixon (West Hartlepool); Ben Cryer (Durham University), James Fitzpatrick (Westoe), David Astle (Durham University), Michael Evans (Billingham); Matthew Gupta (Durham University), Martin Lithgo (Darlington Mowden Park); Joe Oselton (Darlington), Andrew Dixon (West Hartlepool) capt, Andrew Harrison (Blaydon), Richard Boyle (Durham University & Harrogate), Chris Wearmouth (Blaydon), Kevin Shower (Tynedale), Alex Waddingham (Durham University & Sale Sharks), Phil Eggleshaw (Durham University & Nottingham). Replacements: Mark Cammis (Durham City), Richard Thirkell (Horden), Martin Pluskal (Gateshead), Howard Johnson (Durham City), David Tate (Gateshead), Stuart Findlay (Gateshead), Peter Evans (Billingham). Travelling reserveP Joe Evans (Billingham).
Cheshire (v North Midlands at Macclesfield): Ben Coulbeck (Manchester), Matt Simpson (Leeds Met), Tom Hughes (Lymm), Patrick Leach (Manchester), Fergus Mulchrone (Macclesfield); Tom Eaton (Manchester) capt, Sam Cottrell (Caldy); Tom Mantell (Manchester), Neil Dowridge (Caldy), Martin Kent (Macclesfield), Dave Marwick (Stockport), Paul Ralph (Manchester), Matt Owen (Manchester), Matt Lamming (Caldy), Sam Dickinson (Caldy). Replacements: Gavin Roberts (Caldy), Chris Townsend (Macclesfield), Gavin Woods (Caldy), Sam Moss (Macclesfield), Derek Salisbury (Caldy), Craig Smithson (Macclesfield), Nick Pearson (Sheffield Tigers).

Currently awaiting my Les Gray moment

Re: County Championship Rugby This Weekend
Charlotte's Dad (IP Logged)
22 May, 2009 14:59
How much is it to watch this? I am assuming pay at gate!?

Re: County Championship Rugby This Weekend
WiganSaler (IP Logged)
22 May, 2009 17:46
Went to Fylde last week, well worth the effort and the fiver.
So assuming something similar on Saturday, 3pm KO then back for the HC final. Good day out, oh and don't forget to record Super 14 semi!

Full schedule...
Bulls v Crusaders (2pm) Sky Sports 2 Super 14 semi-final
Leicester v Leinster (5.00pm) Sky Sports 2 Sky Sports HD2 4.30pm Heineken Cup final

Plus the IRB 7s...wall to wall rugby. Mrs WS will be pleased(Sm105)

Wigan "Home for the Bewildered"

Fully paid up member of the LSSSSC.
"Long Suffering Sale Sharks Supporters Club"

Re: County Championship Rugby This Weekend
WiganSaler (IP Logged)
23 May, 2009 20:31
Lancashire 80 Northumberland 12. A veritable try fest, some good rugby off the Lanc's guys as well, Lancs no 10 Alex Davies looks very handy, ran the game, kicked very well one great kick from inside the lancs half. Plays for Plymouth Albion but nothing on their site


Wigan "Home for the Bewildered"

Fully paid up member of the LSSSSC.
"Long Suffering Sale Sharks Supporters Club"

Re: County Championship Rugby This Weekend
Bradwall Boy (IP Logged)
25 May, 2009 08:28
Don't forget Cheshire who have strolled through their group in the Shield finishing on Saturday with a 45-0 win against North Midlands at Macc.

Means Both Cheshire and Lancashire will be at Twickenham on Saturday in their respective finals.

That will be an excellent day out - Cheshire at 10.00am, Lancashire at 12.00, Lions on the big screen and then England v Barbarians.

Re: County Championship Rugby This Weekend
WiganSaler (IP Logged)
26 May, 2009 09:12
Lancashire lead North's County challenge
by Tony Simpson
May 24, 2009

LANCASHIRE swept into the final of the RU County Championship’s Bill Beaumont Cup in impressive style when they scored 11 tries to beat Northumberland 80-12 at Sedgley Park yesterday (May 23).

With fly-half Alex Davies producing an impeccable display of goal-kicking to add 25 points from 11 conversions and a penalty, Northumberland were put to the sword with embarrassing ease, contributing to their own downfall with their poorest performance of the season.

They were exposed at the lineout, kicked miserably and turned the ball over in contact far too often against a hungry Lancashire side that turned every blemish into profit.

England Counties wingman Nick Royle was chief beneficiary with a hat trick of tries, lock Louis McGowan scored twice and hooker Dave Ward, centre Mark Turner, wingman Ollie Brennand, prop Rob McDonnell, No 8 Phil Moss and replacement Charlie Baleirara all crossed in the rout.

Fly-half Jack Smales, who worked tirelessly to spark some invention into his side, scored a smart try for Northumberland early on, but the game was long gone when centre Fraser Shaw claimed the visitors’ second, full-back William Massey converting.

“I never thought this was going to be an easy game,” said Lancashire coach Mark Nelson: “We approached it like a semi-final and recognised that Northumberland were going to be a tough nut to crack. So we focused on getting control, applying power at the breakdown, playing through phases and putting them under pressure.

“The team delivered that and were superbly orchestrated by fly-half Alex Davies. He hasn’t missed a kick at goal in the last two games and was outstanding today. He pulled the strings and we showed that across the board we have fire power in all departments.”

Well Pete Anglesea was there so I assume he's having a serious word in the right ears. This Alex Davies is seriously talented. GET HIM NOW

Wigan "Home for the Bewildered"

Fully paid up member of the LSSSSC.
"Long Suffering Sale Sharks Supporters Club"

Re: County Championship Rugby This Weekend
Charlotte's Dad (IP Logged)
26 May, 2009 14:42
Very enjoyable afternoon out. Nice weather, a few beers, Sir William of Beaumont in attendance (and as mentioned, our own Big Red).

Although there was someting missing from the game............... now what was it...........................oh yes, now I remember, no incessant aerial ping-pong(Sm100)!!

Re: County Championship Rugby This Weekend
26 May, 2009 21:18
Please forget Alex Davies exists,in the last three seasons we have had at least nine players poached from Plymouth Albion to Prem teams.We would like to get promoted one season but what chance when all our best players are taken All the best for next season but with out AD.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing

Who is online?

Total users online:  

Most users online:  

Users on this site:  

Where are they?