RUGBY: Which to watch? Great weekend of rugby in prospect

Dom Hammond in OLs' last home game against Pinley  (picture by Mike Baker)
Dom Hammond in OLs' last home game against Pinley (picture by Mike Baker)

OLs, Newbold, Saints, Lions and Welsh all at home

Can you remember a rugby season as good as this one?

Danny Facer and Phil Reed in Newbold's game last week at Malvern (picture by Ray Andrews)

Danny Facer and Phil Reed in Newbold's game last week at Malvern (picture by Ray Andrews)

Promotion chasing Old Laurentians and Newbold are keeping us all on tenterhooks at the top of their division.

And with two county shield trophies already in the cabinet, Rugby Lions are heading for their league title - as well as being just two cup wins away from Twickenham.

Both Midlands 2 West (South) leaders had difficult away games on Saturday, which saw OLs beating third-placed Banbury 22-3 and Newbold winning 26-8 at fourth-placed Malvern.

Unbeaten OLs still top the table by virtue of an extra win, with Newbold second, level on 81 points, with the difference coming from extra bonus points. Trailing 23 points behind, Banbury have been the only league side to beat Newbold this season.

Adam Attenborough in Lions last home game against Stoke Old Boys (picture by Mike Baker)

Adam Attenborough in Lions last home game against Stoke Old Boys (picture by Mike Baker)

While fans enjoy the run-in, with just four games to go, it looks as if it may all come down to the final fixture of the campaign, when the two meet at Parkfield Road on April 11. Their first encounter on the opening day of the season ended in a 16-16 draw.

This Saturday both teams are at home, with OLs hosting sixth-placed Droitwich at Fenley Field and Newbold welcoming seventh-placed Spartans.

With their RFU Midlands Junior Vase final on March 14 at Webb Ellis Road against Cleobury Mortimer, Rugby Lions will be preparing this weekend with a Midlands 4 West (South) league game.

Lions will be determined to maintain their 100 per cent record this season when they host seventh-placed Atherstone. They are still ten points clear at the top of the table, with a game in hand over second-placed Evesham and Claverdon in third.

Last Sunday their Development XV, also top of their division, added to the season’s silverware by beating Coventry Welsh in the final of the Warwickshire 2nd XV Shield.

But it wasn’t such a good weekend for third-placed Rugby St Andrews who lost 17-14 at sixth-placed Daventry in Midlands 3 East (South) .

Having beaten both the top two teams in recent weeks Saints had been closing the gap, but the defeat leaves them ten points adrift with only a slim chance of promotion. Saints have another local derby this weekend when fourth-placed Long Buckby are the visitors to John Tomalin Way.

And in Midlands 5 West (South) Rugby Welsh are looking forward to hosting league leaders Alcester at Alwyn Road. Welsh are currently fifth in the table.