Sunderland Rugby Union club looking for revenge over Gosforth this weekend

Sunderland, in red and yellow, take on Horden last weekend.
Sunderland, in red and yellow, take on Horden last weekend.
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SUNDERLAND travel to Gosforth on Saturday with both sides looking to bounce back from opening day defeats.

While Sunderland were losing out to Horden, Gosforth were surprisingly beaten by league newcomers Acklam.

And like the Wearsiders, Gosforth will be be desperate to open their account for the season.

Having been promoted to D&N 1 in the same season as Sunderland with a relatively young squad, Gosforth have gone on to establish themselves as a regular top-half side without ever really challenging the top sides for promotion.

Gosforth’s open and attacking brand of rugby has led to some great games between the sides in recent seasons, with Gosforth just having the edge in two very close games last season.

Sunderland welcome back a number of players in what looks to be, on paper, a much stronger back line than last week.

Matt Goforth is named after being a late withdrawal last week and will provide the pace in the centres.

Ian Dobson is moved out from 10 to inside centre, where he caused problems for Gosforth last year, with exciting youngster Guy Kingsley-Smith replacing Dobson at 10.

Michael Walton takes over at scrum-half from Adam Reay, who drops down to the bench.

Sam Vaughan returns to the club after a season at home in Wales and will be looking to make an instant impact on the wing.

The pack remains the same as that which started against Horden and will be looking for more of the same.

Dave Robson will look to wreak more havoc with ball in hand and alongside Pete Harrison and Richard Arrowsmith, he forms a fearsome front row.

John Drummond retains his place after coming in as a late replacement for Ross Finch last week.

H Sunderland seconds play their first game of the season against Gateshead thirds at Hill View.

Although a number of the side had a run-out with the third team squad, it is the seconds’ first game in the Northumberland leagues, so they will be looking to get off to a good start.

Craig Elstob, Alan Ross and Danny Hinder will be looking to impress after dropping down from the firsts.

A large number of the squad have recent first-team experience, with coach Rob Stormont naming himself on the bench.

Sunderland thirds also look to open their account for the season when they travel to Gateshead 4ths.

Tony Watt has the usual mix of youth and experience in his squad and will look to the likes of Stevie Graham, having his first run-out of the season, to make life difficult for Gateshead.

Any players named and not available, or not named but available for a game, please let one of the team captains know asap.

Sunderland away to Gosforth, 12.45 meet: Robson, Harrison, Arrowsmith, Carter, Wordsworth, Drummond, Black, Watt, Walton, Kingsley-Smith, Atkinson, Dobson, Goforth, Vaughan, Belfield. Reps: Buckley, Mackie, Reay

Sunderland II home to Gateshead III, 1.30pm meet: Hall, Bengochea, Ross, Elstob, Smith, Grant, Marshall, Penni, Haley, Geehan, Hands, Heffernan, Bains, Hinder, Brace Reps: Summers, Stormont

Sunderland III away to Gateshead IIII, 1pm meet: Marshal, Wright, Brown, Turnbull, Belfield, Jackson, Harrison, Watson, Richardson, Grainger, Garrimore, Simpson, Wallace, Groark, Ditchburn, Deighton, Clinton, Graham.

* Durham City host newly-promoted Team Northumbria in their first home match of the North One East season on Saturday (3pm).

City will look for a boost against the students, having succumbed 32-8 away to Middlesbrough in last week’s opener.

Durham rallied from 8-0 down to level with a penalty from full-back Jonny Harding, followed quickly by a brilliant try from winger Chris Metcalfe, who linked well with newly-signed centre Paddy Dias.

But Boro finished much the stronger and now City will look to kick-start their season at Hollow Drift.

* Horden entertain Medicals in Durham and Northumberland Division One, aiming to build on last week’s derby win at Sunderland.

* Houghton host Sedgefield in Division Three, while Seaham have Chester-le-Street as their visitors.