As the Sale FC squad is announced by DOR Jonathan Keep
We take a moment to look ahead to a game with a lot riding, as Blackheath push for a top 5 finish, with DMP close behind (on points diff) whilst The Dogs try to extend their narrow gap from Bishops Stortford at 12th
SATURDAY 25th JAN 2020
3pm | Well Hall | London
We look ahead at an important fixture as The Dogs fall short against Rosslyn Park, an unjustified scoreline, but a well-deserved win for the promotion-chasing-side.
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We hear from Matt Bradley, scrum half, as he reflects on Rosslyn Park before looking ahead to this important clash in London as well as Director of Rugby Jonathan Keep:
“A disappointing result in the end, we created enough opportunities to get something from the game. There was a lot of positives in the performance, but, against a quality side if you make errors they take advantage, and that’s what they did. We can definitely take confidence from the performance going in to this week- certainly in terms of attitude and intensity. If we can cut out the errors we will be in with a shot.
But, going down to London is never easy, especially against a good side. But I think it is important for us to learn from last week and build on the positives we did show. Last season the performance wasn’t great at Blackheath, so we are hoping we can rectify that, if we can put an 80minute performance together we can be in with a shout of picking an important away win.
Back to back London trips isn’t ideal, but I think we can be excited by the challenge. We take every game as it comes, so we aren’t thinking too much about it, we just have to perform like we know we can”.
Matt, who finished off THAT scorching team try against Canterbury has been building each week, putting in some quality shifts recently. His partnership remains with Chris Johnson at 10 as they eagerly look ahead.
On paper, we look impressive. At least in terms of points, with The Blue and Whites scoring 472 points- a top 5/6 contention, with a decent point difference of 43. Whilst Blackheath, although 5th, have a point difference of 17- scoring less than Sale, yet have the ability to see out these away games with an impressive away form. Notably, on their last visit to Heywood Rd they conceded, only one of the 4 losses occurred.
Jonathan Keep said,
“Its been a tough start to 2020 for the squad in having three away trips out of our four fixtures in January. Down in London again Old Elthamians, Rosslyn Park and now Blackheath. On each occasion so far we have performed well against quality opposition and played some good rugby. However, we have only come away with one point out of the fixture down at OE’s earlier this month, so we are looking to improve on this tomorrow.
As always, we are expecting it to be a tight fixture and we have equipped ourselves well during the week to give ourselves the best possible chance to come away with the win. The squad continue to work hard week on week to improve on their last performance. Everyone is looking forward to the fixture.”
The squad features minimal change with only a few rotations. Jonty Rawcliffe swaps wings as Jack Moorhouse pushes out to 14 from previously 13. As Johnny Leota, the birthday man, comes in at 13 after some weeks away as he is joined by Patrick Ah Van at 12- a lethal combo in the centre, looking to force some gaps. Emiliano Calle Rivas continues his start at fullback as Fergus Mulchrone and Tom Brady are still sidelined with injury, he impresses in back-to-back weeks offering some explosive speed in the backline.
The forwards remain unchanged as they continue to challenge opposition packs with their physicality. Jake Pope, Juan Pablo Rivas, Dan Matthews and Stone Priestley-Nangle all eager to provide some additional force off the bench.
Players to watch: Matt Bradley, Stone-Priestley Nangle and Andrew Hughes (FC)
Henry Staff from Blackheath picked up Man of The Match in their previous fixture, notably a man to watch