Off the back of losing two games in succession for the first time this season, Plymouth Albion get set for a second away day on the bounce.
We’re up against Sale on Saturday afternoon at Heywood Road seeking an arrest of what is currently our worst run of the season having tasted defeat at the hands of Darlington Mowden Park and the Leicester Lions in recent weeks.
Naming two losses on the bounce as our worst form of the year speaks volumes about the standard that has been set so far in 2023-24, but there is a strong eagerness in the camp to try and avoid a trio of losses for the first time in nearly two years.
Sale’s form has been a fry cry from the campaign that saw them compete with Cambridge and Rams for the title last term; they currently sit 11th in the table, but they did take their seventh win of the season last weekend over Cinderford.
That was a second victory on the spin for the Manchester-based outfit having lost the two previous to Chinnor and Darlington Mowden Park.
Some of Sale’s performances have been excellent. They recorded a thumping win over both Taunton and Rosslyn Park before the Christmas break, and picked up a win over title contenders Rams in November.
Regardless of league position, as was proven by the Leicester Lions last time out at Westleigh Park, is rarely a factor in National League 1 encounters.
Earlier this season, tries from Jesse Lowe, Pita Ratukadreu, Angus Hodges, Sam Daly and Phil Jones secured a 36-10 win over Sale at the Brickfields.
Pat Walton comes in for his competitive Albion debut on Saturday in the second row alongside Jake Clemson, with Dan Collier sitting this week out.
Jake Bond also returns to the starting line-up as Torin Clarke goes from the bench, and Connor Eastgate is back at Fly-Half having missed last weekend’s visit to Leicester.
Pita Ratukadreu comes out to the left wing with Seta Raumakita on the other side, while Jesse Lowe returns to the centre alongside Archie Hill. Tom Putt will start at Full-Back.
Tom Cowan-Dickie is back in the match day squad; he’ll go from the replacement pool. Sonny Hirini also returns to the bench.
The Team In Full:
- Ramaz Rukhadze
- Gabe Mead
- Dan Pullinger
- Pat Walton
- Jake Clemson
- Angus Hodges
- Jake Bond
- Brad Howe
- Jack Oulton ©
- Connor Eastgate
- Pita Ratukadreu
- Archie Hill
- Jesse Lowe
- Seta Raumakita
- Tom Putt
- Tom Cowan-Dickie
- Jenson Boughton
- Torin Clarke
- Morgan Stone
- Sonny Hirini