Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: Blaydon Aces in Line for a Leg-Up; Scrum Down

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: Blaydon Aces in Line for a Leg-Up; Scrum Down

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Neale

WINNING promotion from their respective leagues is the aim of every rugby club at the start of a season but, for Blaydon, escaping from Division Three North means more than playing at a higher level - it is a matter of local pride.

The club are sitting top of the pile after a mounting a second-half comeback to beat Morley at the weekend. So with three other North-East sides in the division - and none in the divisions above until the Falcons in the Premiership - chairman of rugby Chris Nunn is proud to say his side are the best in the region.

"We are delighted to be top of the league at this stage of the season, even though we left it very late on Saturday," he said. "It would mean so much to us to be the first team from the North-East to play in National Two - apart from West Hartlepool but that was a different story - we could be very proud of ourselves.

"We were very disappointing in the first half on Saturday and have had a few disappointing results this season, such as the losses against Preston and Rugby. But since then we've got a bit of a run going which has been brilliant for us."

This is the side's sixth year in the division and Nunn believes the factors may be combining correctly to make it their best chance to get promotion.

"We started well last season, winning the first six games or something like that, but we finished third place - the runners' up spot as such," he said.

"But I don't think we've ever been at the top of the league at this stage of the season and we have got a consistent squad with some exciting players. The consistency is very important because some teams try to buy players in and that doesn't work for them.

"We have managed to keep around two thirds of the squad from last season so they are used to each other and what their team-mates are likely to do - there's a very strong team spirit.

"And these guys are a year older and wiser, which helps as well. Last year a few of them were playing in this league for the first time, so now they have an idea what it is all about. …

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