Great choice of home games for fans this weekend with return to league action
After the conclusion of the Six Nations there’s plenty for rugby fans to enjoy closer to home this weekend - and over the next three weeks as the league season hots up with just four rounds to go.
Both Newbold and Old Laurentians are challenging for promotion places, while Rugby Lions and Rugby St Andrews have their own battles at the other end of their tables and Rugby Welsh continue a strong run of form.
This Saturday at Parkfield Road, Newbold host Hereford, determined to end a run of three defeats and regain the runners-up spot. Their fantastic start to the season so far sees them with a record of 17 wins and just five losses. Newbold have dropped to third in Midlands 1 West, following their games with Bromsgrove, Droitwich and Dudley Kingswinford, who are now second but with just a single-point advantage over the red and blacks.
Bromsgrove lead on 102 points, DKS have 83 and Newbold 82, level with Whitchurch.
Sixth-placed Hereford come into Saturday’s game having won 29-10 at bottom club Malvern on March 15, when most teams had a break for the internationals.
Newbold will then wrap up the season against the three sides propping up the table, visiting 13th-placed Longton on March 30, hosting Malvern on April 6 and finishing with a trip to 12th-placed Moseley Oak on April 13.
Rugby Lions will welcome Midlands 1 East leaders Kettering to Webb Ellis Road on Saturday.
Kettering continued their fine run with a 21-5 win over Peterborough in their last game on March 9, when Lions slipped up at Wellingborough after leading 19-0. Lions can take heart from the previous game though, which earned them a 31-20 win over Towcestrians, who are now seventh.
Kettering have only lost twice all season, heading the table on 98 points, ahead of Paviors on 93 and third-placed Oadby Wyggestonians on 75.
Lions are 11th on 42 points, with three teams below them, but look to have done just enough to avoid another relegation battle.
Leighton Buzzard (Lions’ hosts on March 30) are 12th on 21 points, Northampton Old Scouts 13th on 10 and Melton Mowbray (Lions’ hosts for their final game on April 13) are bottom on 4 points. In between those games, on April 6, sixth-placed Lutterworth will be Lions’ visitors.
Both Old Laurentians 1st and 2nd XVs return to league action against Barkers Butts this weekend. The 1sts are at home at Fenley Field in Lime Tree Avenue while the 2nds travel away. For the 2nds the game could go a long way in deciding whether they can secure the Warwickshire League 1 title; and the 1sts will be looking to cement second place in Midlands 2 West (South).
Old Laurentians 1sts extended their winning league run to 16 games with their most recent 17-14 victory over Silhillians on March 9, while seventh-placed Barkers beat Old Coventrians, in 11th, 44-7.
Kenilworth are top of the table on 84 points, nine ahead of OLs on 75. Kidderminster are third on 70, with the chasing pack led by Nuneaton Old Edwardians on 52 in fourth.
OLs’ remaining games see them travel to sixth-placed Earlsdon on March 30, host ninth-placed Evesham on April 6 and finish their fixtures at leaders Kenilworth on April 13.
OLs Colts have a vital game at the weekend as they look to secure a place in the Warwickshire Colts Cup Final in their semi-final against their strongest county rivals, Old Leamingtonians. A win would take them one step closer to the League and Cup double that they are chasing. Then, to cap a great weekend of rugby, on Sunday OLs’ Phoenix Ladies will be hosting the first 2019 tournament in the Midlands Ladies Touch League at Fenley Field. Donna Nobes has taken over the captaincy of Phoenix Ladies and will be looking for a great start to their 2019 season.
For Rugby St Andrews, their first season in Midlands 2 West (South) has been a tough one, after their wonderful promotion as champions last year. This Saturday sees them hosting fifth-placed Silhillians, before a trip to Barkers Butts on March 30. Their final home game is also on April 6 when Earlsdon are the visitors to their Ashlawn Road, John Tomalin Way ground and they conclude with a trip to Evesham on April 13.
Although bottom of the table on 20 points from four wins, Saints are still within reach of the four sides above them. Old Coventrians are on 24 points, Evesham and Southam on 25 and Leamington on 32.
Rugby Welsh have been enjoying a good season, both in Midlands 5 West (South) and the RFU Midlands Junior Vase, where they reached the semi-final, finally bowing out 30-20 at Mellish in January.
Third in the league, this weekend sees Welsh travel to fourth-placed Keresley. On March 30 leaders Birmingham Exiles will be the visitors to Alwyn Road, before Welsh’s trip to second-placed Birmingham Civil Service on April 6. Their season concludes with a home game against bottom club Atherstone on April 13.
With just five teams left in the division, Exiles have 40 points, Civil Service 34, Welsh 22, Keresley 21 and Atherstone 5 points.