Clubs hope for sixth time lucky after low first five

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Ben Wade, Sheffield RUFC’s Director of Rugby, has admitted that his side’s situation could become ‘serious’ if they lose again this weekend.

Sheffield, who face Alnwick this weekend, lost their fifth consecutive North 1 East game at the weekend, going down 31-20 against Northern.

And, to compound matters, Sheffield hooker Max Goodall sustained a broken leg in the game, and is expected to miss the rest of the campaign.

Wade expects to be able to call upon the services of loose-head prop Jared Parkinson, however.

Parkinson, who recently joined the club on a short-term spell from Championship side Rotherham Titans, missed the Northern game after picking up a knee injury in midweek.

He came through a training session on Tuesday evening, however, and is expected to be available when Sheffield face third-bottom Alnwick.

Alnwick were on the end of a 56-12 defeat to league leaders Cleckheaton last time out and they have only won one of their first five games – a 29-14 home victory over newly promoted Driffield at the end of September.

“We need a win,” Wade told the Telegraph.

“Another defeat this weekend, and the situation will be starting to become a bit serious.

“We have to give credit to Alnwick; a lot of teams are probably looking at us and probably see us as a bit vulnerable at the moment.

“Hopefully we can get the victory we need.

“We are getting there and, despite the results, we have got a happy camp.”

Wade added: “We just need it to click.

“Our season is not over and we still have plenty of games to play.

“The penny will drop and I don’t think we are to far away from getting the result we need.”

Sheffield Tigers also continue to find themselves in a worrying situation in the National League 2 North division.

Despite Peter Swatkins scoring a hat trick of tries, Dan Richmond, the Tigers’ Director of Rugby, was left berating the decisions that went against his side during the 34-22 defeat to Leicester Lions – a result that means they are still pointless after the first five games of the campaign.

“After reviewing the video of last week, it’s important playing at this level to recognise that the officials are often developing too,” Richmond said.

“We have an obligation to work with them and look after them in key areas like the scrum.

“These young officials need as much support from us as possible.

“In this area in particular, I’ve been looking to get clarification from the RFU due to the high penalty count from the scrummage last week.”

After losing what was pinpointed as a crucial game for the club against Leicester, Tigers now face the daunting prospect of facing four of the division’s current top five teams in the next four games, which starts with the visit of league leaders Stourbridge this weekend.

Stourbridge narrowly won 22-20 the last time the two teams met and, after spending the week “addressing certain areas” of their game, Richmond insists that all the pressure will be on the visitors to come to Dore Moor and get the result.

He added: “We’ve continued to work very hard to address certain areas.

“Stourbridge come into this game as the firm favourites, so there’s no pressure on the boys.

“We will play our game, have a good crack at them and see if Stourbridge can handle the pressure of being at the Tiger Dome.”