Westoe, thrilling and infuriating in just about equal measure, travel to fifth-top Morpeth tomorrow knowing they are in for a tough test if they are to get back to winning ways.
Westoe must plug the gaps in their defence against opponents who have won six of their 11 games so far this season, including a 19–15 win against Dinnington in their last match.
There will have been tough talking at training this week after those one-on-one defensive lapses which have blighted a lot of their games this season.
The 23-12 defeat at home by Alnwick, in which the scoreline doesn’t reflect the closeness of the match, left Westoe severely disappointed.
Westoe allowed Alnwick the upper hand with some indecisive decision making.
This followed an even more emphatic 41-0 beating in their previous away game against top of the league Morley.
However coach Carlo Del Fava insists the team are not showing their full potential – and that ‘significant improvement’ will come once they start to gel more as a team.
He said: “We are a good team and we will get better still.
“Anyone who saw our match when we beat Northern will agree we can play good rugby and have improved significantly.
“And with the new players having blended in that improvement will continue.”
Any observers who have seen the Benfield Motors-sponsored Shieldsmen switch on the magic will admit it is hard to argue with that.
South Shields Westoe have always experienced a competitive relationship with Morpeth over the years with the spoils being split evenly.
Morpeth go into this encounter as clear favourites on form; yet as everyone knows the results in this league this season have been varied with only Morley being undefeated.
This provides spectators with very exciting and ultimately unpredictable results.
Chairman Ian Etchells is looking forward to the encounter – and believes desire could play a big part in who comes out on top.
He said: “If we turn up as a team on the day, then we will give any side a good game; so I suppose it will come down to which side makes the right decisions on the pitch and who has the greatest desireto win.”
For travelling supporters please note that the match is a 2pm kick off.