Rugby League: Preview of Rochdale Hornets v South Wales Scorpions
South Wales Scorpions just have pride to play for in their last three matches of the season starting with an away game against Rochdale Hornets this Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
The Scorpions, following last week’s defeat at the hands of Welsh rivals North Wales Crusaders, are now, bar any mathematical miracles, consigned to finishing ninth this season and are using the last few games to help prepare their side for 2013 and a serious promotion push next year.
It will be a rare Scorpions side on Sunday as it will be without Ashley Bateman who limped off with a suspected broken ankle last week. He has only missed two matches in the Scorpions history in the past, ironically both of them against Rochdale Hornets! The first was in a league clash last year where he picked up a minor knock while the other was earlier this season when he was rested for a dead rubber Northern Rail Cup clash.
“It’ll be strange without Ashley on the trip,” Clark said. “He must have something against taking on Rochdale!
“It will be a tough trip for us as Rochdale are still looking to get into the play-offs and they’ll want to bounce back after losing at London Skolars last week.
“They’re a bit up and down this year, but I watched their game against Crusaders and they dominated that from start to finish.
“They play very well at home and it’ll be a big challenge for us. We’ll have to be at our best to get a result.”
Rochdale’s Dale Bloomfield will be monitored during the week after sustaining a minor knee knock, but their boss John Stankevitch admits most changes to this week’s squad will be due to performance rather than injury.
Stankevitch said: “I was bitterly disappointed with some of the lads’ performances last week.
“I got the sense some of them have made their minds up that we’re not going to get promoted and that they didn’t put in 100 per cent. That’s just not good enough.
“Myself and (assistant coach) Chris Hough will get our heads together. There have got to be changes, because we can’t allow performances like that.
“There’s plenty to play for in terms of contracts for next year, and we want to finish the season on a high.
“We’ve got a tough game on Sunday, and two more after that against Barrow and Workington, but there are no excuses.”