Ashbrooke eye consistency

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CONSISTENCY will be the name of the game for Sunderland on Saturday as they look to put together their first back to back wins of the season.

Comprehensive victories against Prudhoe and Barnard Castle sandwiched an under-par performance on the road at Redcar, so Sunderland know they cannot rest on their laurels if they want to maintain their position at the top end of the Durham and Northumberland Division Two table.

Hosts Seaton Carew have suffered only narrow defeats in their opening two games of the season, so they will not be taken lightly and are sure to be a force to be reckoned with on their home patch.

More front-row changes are required by Sunderland, with Chris Geehan unavailable and Ryan Buckley rested to recover from a couple of niggling injuries.

This makes the return of Damion Martinez and Alan Ross all the more timely.

The rest of the pack remains unchanged, with Joe Arrowsmith coming in on the bench.

The Ashbrooke side make further changes in the backline, with Sam Vaughan taking over from Michael Brace at scrum-half and Gavin Stirling slotting into the fly-half berth, which means that Michael Heffernan reverts to full-back.

The only other change sees Dom Arkley return on the wing and Simon Cole drop to the bench.

Sunderland seconds make the long journey to Berwick, while there is a first run-out of the season for Sunderland thirds at home to Border Park (meet 2pm).

Sunderland I (away to Seaton Carew, meet 1pm, KO 3pm): Martinez, Harrison, Ross, Carter, Belfield, Drummond, Finlay, Watt, Vaughan, Stirling, Abraham, Levinson, Townend, Arkley, Heffernan. Reps: Edmundson, Arrowsmith, Cole

Sunderland II (away to Berwick, meet 12.15, KO 3pm): D Williams, D Marshall, A Hall, C Fish, A Wordsworth, A Reay, A Sumner, J Hanson, M Brace, M Walton, L Evans, R Caplin, C O’Donovan, P Garvie, H Silcox. Reps: E Allen, C Turner, R Watson

H WASHINGTON will look for better fortunes away to Richmondshire on Saturday, after a 61-0 home drubbing from Newton Aycliffe in Durham and Northumberland Division Three last week.

The Newtowners were well beaten by dominant Aycliffe but they kept battling to the end and could hold their heads high, with George Spencer managing a huge hit on the visiting fly-half which had all the spectators wincing.

Washington are in cup semi-final action, away to Yarm, on Saturday. Washington won one and lost one narrowly against the Teessiders last season so will go into the game confident of victory.

Newton Aycliffe await them if they progress to the final.