Westoe players warned to improve commitment to training

The Benfield Motors-sponsored South Shields Westoe will tomorrow reach the halfway stage of their campaign in North 1 East.

Having played national rugby last season, the high standard of rugby in this league has surprised many at Westoe.

The Shieldsmen are going to have to start digging deep into their reserves in the next half of the campaign if they are to pull themselves off the bottom of the table and avoid another relegation again this season.

The officials and coaching staff can see the potential in the players’ abilities, however a lack of belief in themselves is showing on the pitch on a Saturday.

Coach Haydn Richards said: “We need these lads to start believing in themselves and start putting the effort into training – if we don’t train as a team, we will never gel as a team on the pitch.

“We realise some of the lads have work commitments, but we need more at training on Tuesdays and Thursdays”.

Tomorrow sees the Westoe’s first team play host to Pocklington RUFC, from the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Pocklington lie sixth in the league with six wins out of their 12 matches so far. This will be the first time the two teams have met and with both sides fielding strong forward packs it looks like this could be a classic encounter.

Pocklington have scored numerous tries this season from driving mauls, which shows Westoe where the threat is likely to come from.

The home match once again sees the return of some old faces in the Westoe side.

The likes of James Walker and Tom King will be pulling on the Westoe shirt once more as they look to help guide the team out of trouble.

And club chairman Ian Etchells is asking for the ‘Old Guard’ of Westoe to come down and show their support and become Westoe’s 16th man.

Meanwhile, Westoe Development XV play host to Tynedale RFC 2nds.

Tynedale RFC’s ground and clubhouse has been devastated by floods this week with the first team pitch being under water up the height of the crossbar on the rugby posts.

Westoe wish them all the best with their clean up and hope rugby can resume at Tynedale Park in the near future.

Both matches kick off at 2.15pm.