Houghton Rugby Club eager to bounce back after Hartlepool Athletic defeat

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HOUGHTON entertain Hartlepool BBOB in Durham and Northumberland Division Three at Dairy Lane on Saturday, eager to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Hartlepool Athletic.

Some changes are enforced on coach Nick Willings in the back row due to injuries.

John Dye should come back into contention, but the front five will stay unchanged.

The backs should also remain unchanged and will be hoping to continue their decent form.

They did not score as many tries as they would have liked against Athletic, but they did look dangerous going forward.

Scrum half Ryan Merley is on a steep learning curve at the moment, but his first half performance last week should help him kick on and put BBOB under pressure.

Houghton’s home pitch should also give the backs plenty of space to work with.

With so many injuries in the back row, the squad will be severely tested against a decent Hartlepool team, who Houghton beat away from home earlier in the season.

The fixture doubles up as a cup match, with Houghton keen to make progress, as they pinpointed the cup as an area they can do well in this year.

H Seaham are also in Division Three action at home to Hartlepool Athletic.

Durham City face a tough test as they look to stop the rot in North One East.

Last week’s disappointing 41-6 defeat at relegation-threatened Northern made it three successive losses for the Hollow Drift side, who host third-top Old Brodleians on Saturday (3pm).

Arnie Stevenson’s pair of first-half penalties were all City had to show for their efforts at McCracken Park, where the concession of 31 second-half points hurried Northern to a vital victory.