North Wales Conference Week Six Preview
21st June 2012, 18:20
NORTH WALES CONFERENCE WEEK SIX PREVIEW
By Ryan Gould
Conwy Celts v Wrexham Bradley Raiders, Colwyn Bay RFC at 2pm
Conwy Celts will look to increase their stamp on the league as they face Wrexham Bradley Raiders, currently sitting at the foot of the ladder. The Raiders haven't played for some time, and the majority of the squad who've been sidelined in recent weeks through injury should be back for this encounter. However, Mike Hughes and James Clark haven't had sufficient time for their rib injuries to heal, and Steve Richards is still I available with that long-term problem.
With no points to their name so far, and game time running out, the Wrexham-based outfit will want to get their season started sooner rather than later. The Celts were run close last time out against a defiant Flintshire Falcons side, and this just shows that sides lower down in the competition can push the bigger sides all the way if they get it right on the day.
The Celts will certainly learn from that experience though, knowing that they will have to be on their game throughout and can't afford a lapse in concentration at any point. Now that they have the lead in the North Wales Conference, they certainly won't want to forfeit it.
Flintshire Falcons v Prestatyn and Rhyl Panthers, Meadows Playing Fields (home of the Panthers) at 3pm
The Falcons will yet again entertain another side that are going strong in their second game, as they come head-to-head with the Panthers. The home side are on the back of a defeat, but they can take plenty of positives considering it was their first ever competitive fixture.
The Flintshire-based side is continually getting more and more people turning up for training sessions and Matt Pritchard (head coach of the Falcons) said, "The players are really enjoying the training sessions and we've been working very hard towards Saturday. The Panthers are a hard, physical side, who'll be tough to break down - we've been working towards stopping that."
On reflection of last Sunday's defeat to the Celts, Pritchard was very pleased. "Sunday's game went very well, we didn't look far off the Conwy Celts. We looked like a rugby league team and everyone gave 120% for the team throughout. In the first half, mistakes cost us, and we cut that out in the second half which was great. Towards the end we tired though, and that allowed them to score those late tries easier than we would have liked."
The Panthers have had the lead taken from their grasp by the Celts, and they'll be eager to win that back. The Panthers' physical approach in the pack, with backs that can then cause great damage sounds familiar to that of the Falcons, and it should play right into their hands. In their last fixture against Conwy their tackling technique was very strong and from an attacking perspective, strong running and breaks allowed them to gain strong metres, eventually leading to good field position, and tries.