Preview round 18 M2EN

Preview round 18 M2EN

By Peter Ilott
8th March
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Matt still 3 behind and going first in a bid to gain parity. Will Pete play safe??

Melbourne travel to Southwell and are looking to put one hand on the league trophy. If results go their way (and with that Melbourne would need a BP win at the much improving Southwell and a Dronfield/LE draw), they could end up 20 points clear with just 4 to play with a vastly superior points difference. Pete has certainly not sought any clarification from any of the RFU league hierarchy after last year’s fiasco with the missing bonus point. No predictions as usual

Onto the other games.
Will the weather play a part after this week’s rain?
Will an international Saturday affect availability?
Will squads be tested to the full?

Dronfield v Long Eaton
The big game - 2nd v 3rd with Dronfield hosting Long Eaton. This was a close game at Long Eaton and I suspect it will be the same again. Matt is opting for Long Eaton, Pete going for Dronfield (or a draw for which he will claim the point). A low scoring draw would be best for Melbourne.

Ashby v Loughborough
Loughborough much improved in 2019. Ashby yet to win. Both Pete and Matt going for Loughborough in this fixture

Ilkeston v Lincoln
Lincoln not travelling that well but a good outfit. Ilkeston the draw specialists. Home advantage to tell for Matt here with an Ilkeston win. Pete also going for the home win (or (pushing his neck out) a draw - Pete will claim the point if so) in a close game.

Newark v Matlock
Both sides struggling with injury lists. Matlock are not safe and will be looking over their shoulders at the Southwell and Ashby games. Home advantage to tell with a home win for both Pete and Matt

Ashbourne v Market Rasen
Tricky one this after Shrovetide. Market Rasen will not relish the travel. Will the pitch be fit?
Matt picking Market Rasen because of Shrovetide, Pete opting for Ashbourne with home advantage.

So we agree on 3, disagreeing on the Dronfield and Loughborough games. Review Sun/Mon.

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