After a long expected wait, Sale FC return to the stomping ground at Heywood Road with CorpAcq Stadium looking fresher after some weeks away. The groundsmen have been working relentlessly all week to get the pitch ready for action.
Jonathan Keep announces his squad ahead of a big weekend as Sale FC take on 3rd-placed Chinnor.
In this week’s preview we hear from Scum-Half Matt Bradley, Centre and replacement Jeremy To’a who played his first game last week after weeks out and Fergus Mulchrone as they reflect and look ahead.
SATURDAY 7th March | 2pm | CorpAcq Stadium Heywood Rd
The Dogs have not played at Heywood Road since the 1st February 2020 v Plymouth, in what was a nail-biting encounter with just a point separating the sides. Fortunately, Chris Johnson proved dividend as he kicked The Dogs to victory with a 100% conversion rate.
Full Match Report
The Blue and Whites will look to move beyond some disappointing results in recent weeks after falling short to Darlington Mowden Park and Cambridge.
Conceding 30-points-a-piece last time; the objective this week will to keep the deficit low, as our last runout to Chinnor finished 38-31. Conceding the 38 points within the first half, looks tough, but considering we also mounted 30points on Chinnor within 40 also provides some confidence heading into this weekend.
“The squad and staff are very happy to be back at Heywood Road for only the 3rd time in 2020 and I’m sure the commercial team at the club and the supporters are too. Last week was far too familiar theme away from home, the stats from the game would point to a Sale FC win, but unfortunately a twenty minute period in which we conceded 4 tries, took the game away from us.”
We have parked that now and had a good few weeks of preparation going into the Chinnor game. This has included an excellent contested session against Lymm RUFC on their 4G pitch and the setting of some short term goals which we aim to achieve in the final seven games of the season. We are looking forward to Chinnor coming up to Manchester, this will be a real test for the team and one we will be meeting head on.
“The DMP game was very frustrating game for us, considering the amount of possession we had. We played some goof stuff at times, but again, errors cost us at important times of the game. Going in at half time, we felt we were in a strong position, especially if we could fix a couple of things going into the second. But, the period just after the break was disappointing, it is something we have spoken about and want to put right going forward until the end of the season”
We’re looking forward to another test at home this week. Previous games against Chinnor have been tight with a lot of points scored- the main thing for us is to put an 80 minute performance together and not be chasing the game, if we can do that we know we can be hard to beat!
“The DMP game was massively disappointing, we had plenty of opportunities throughout the game, but failed to finish on numerous occasions. The tries surrounding half time cost us the game, however, a positive to take from the fixture is the fact we dominated possession and chances made. This week our main focus and priority is to finish off those chances we squandered against DMP.”
We need to look at ourselves, front up and be up for a physical challenge as they have big front pack which has dominated the league. They have some key players in-from with the Fullback, Fly-half Laurence May and winger Jason Worrall- so we have to make sure we manage the game, ready for a physical battle. We must take our chances as they will undoubtedly come, we just need to ensure we finish as there will be fewer opportunities this week. Hoping for some great weather at Heywood Rd
“We failed to execute the game plan correctly last week, with missed tackled and poor mistakes. We need to look onwards to Chinnor now, focusing on picking up as many points as possible so we can finish the season strong.”
Chinnor are a great side. Last time we met was away from home. They dominated us in the first half, but, in the second we executed our game plan- going all out to push for a result. This game should be physical from the start and for the full 80, so we need to be prepared so we can match them- we’re keen and ready to go.
It’s always a bit easier playing at home with our home crowd backing us up. All the boys want to keep the winning streak at home going, hoping for the sun to be shining- should be nice this weekend. I’m back in the mix after a long injury, I can’t wait, especially at home- I’m really looking forward to being back out there at home with the boys
Players to Watch: Jason Worrall- 17 Try's (Winger) Nick Selway- 16 Try's (Hooker) Laurence May- Fly Half
Chinnor 24-21 Rosslyn Park
A dramatic late try secured a vital win for Chinnor last time out. Nick Selway earned the victory with a try towards the end of the game- his 16th of the season. Chinnor are now 2 points behind league leader Rosslyn Park with 6 games to go.
Read More– Match Report
Canterbury 0-7 Chinnor
Chinnor extended their unbeaten away run to 7 games, with them looking to continue this form up in Manchester. It was a tough game, ugly and messy with the encounter happening in the midst of Storm Dennis.
Read More– Match Report
Chinnor are not a complacent side as they have proved their ability and potential to see out tight games, as shown in consecutive weeks against Rosslyn Park and Canterbury. But, they can also put on big points are shown against Old Elthamians- 8th Feb- 33-3.