Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro Bid to Wear out Lowly Sandal

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro Bid to Wear out Lowly Sandal

Article excerpt

Byline: Rugby Preview, by Andrew Wilkinson

Middlesbrough aim to spend Christmas firmly established in the promotion zone.

After last weekend's heavy cup defeat at Bradford and Bingley, a home game against struggling Sandal provides the perfect opportunity to bounce back.

With North 2 East leaders Hull entertaining third placed Morpeth, a Boro side sandwiched between the two can strengthen their position.

In their last league match a couple of weeks ago, Middlesbrough were outstanding in winning at Morpeth, so Sandal should hold no fears for Boro.

The visitors have lost eight times this season, and Boro only twice.

Richard Horton, pictured right, returns to the side at hooker, while Paul Johnson will start in the second row.

Lee Richardson moves to fly half after making a speedy recovery from injury, with Ross McNeil playing on the wing.

John Buddington is not available, so Ian Warsama plays at loose head.

In the same division STOCKTON travel to York, an important match as both sides are on seven points just a point above second-from-bottom Sandal.

Stockton were disappointed with having to settle for a draw at home to York a month ago, and feel they can win the return match.

They are forced into a couple of changes from the squad that stormed to an impressive win at home to Horden a fortnight ago.

Mattie Oates is unavailable, so Graham Kell will move up to centre, with Nicki Walters coming in at full back.

Lock Mark Skirving, out for the last two months with an injured shoulder, is on a powerful bench which includes skipper Alan Brown and prop Ben Jenkinson.

REDCAR are level on points in midtable with visitors Bridlington, and the winners could go fifth.

Redcar welcome back Greg Unthank, Neil Cook and Paul Beal after injury, but three players - Marty Challenor, Jason Nicholas and Paul Williams - are unavailable.

ACKLAM return to Durham and North One action with a full squad after having to concede last week's cup match due to unavailablity of front row players. …

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