THREE out of three in 2012 is the target for Sunderland rugby club on Saturday as they look to follow up on their impressive win over Hartlepool Rovers and keep up their unbeaten start to the year when Guisborough are the visitors to Ashbrooke.
The first task for Guisborough will be just to complete the 80 minutes following the abandonment of last week’s game against Ashington after a mass brawl while leading 19-10.
Having been promoted as champions of Durham Northumberland Division Two last year, Guisborough have struggled to win on a consistent basis.
However, having taken the scalps of Horden and Hartlepool Rovers, they have shown that on their day, they are capable of beating good sides.
Sunderland were the victors when the sides met earlier in the season, but it was by no means an easy victory against a very physical and spirited Guisborough side.
As far as selection goes, Sunderland coach Fraser Kennedy has decided to name a squad, with final team selection being delayed until after training on Thursday.
Jake Belfield, Sean Bellon and Dave Robson are all unavailable from the side that beat Hartlepool Rovers last week, so the inclusion of Andy Hall, Andy Wordsworth and Ian Dobson are the only changes.
The big piece of news in the second team is one that will hopefully have positive implications for the first team squad before the end of the season as Jamie Maclennan has his first run-out in well over a year.
Although he is likely to start on the bench and eased back into action, it is great news for both the player and the club that such a clinical finisher for the first team is back playing rugby again.
Like the first team. Rob Stormont’s side also look to make it three wins in a row, although Medicals are likely to prove a much tougher task than either of Sunderland’s last two opponents, having pushed them all the way just before Christmas, when Sunderland took victory by 25-20.
The third team look to avenge an early season defeat when Border Park make the trip to Ashbrooke.
Tony Watt’s side lost out by 12-3 in the first game of the season, but after last week’s last-minute victory over Morpeth, they are confident they can come out on top this time round.
Sunderland at home to Guisborough; 1pm meet: Buckley; Hall; Harrison; Arrowsmith; Carter; Elstob; Wordsworth; Arrowsmith; Finch; Watt; Francis; Goforth; Dobson; Vaughan; Henry; Townend; Jordan; Littlewood.
Sunderland II away to Medicals; noon meet: Summers; Bengochea; Geehan; Fish; Cogden; Reah; Penni; Mackie; Edmundson; Matthews; Evans; Brace; Haley; Hands; Heff; Gilberts; Jermy; Wardle; Tolley; McLellan
Sunderland III home to Border Park: Marshall; Wright; Turnbull; Belfield; Jackson; Peel; Hurst; Harrison; Richardson; Grainger; Garrimore; Graham; Cowans; Gilbert; Swanney; Edmundson; Hogg; Fish; Watson; Duff.