ALTHOUGH tomorrow was originally supposed to be a bye weekend for clubs, the recent weather means there are plenty of rugby union games across the South West tomorrow.
One of those is at Polson Bridge where Launceston, on a four-match winning run, welcome high-flyers Brixham in Regional One South West (2.30pm).
The All Blacks beat Old Centralians in Gloucester back on December 3 and won all three of their January encounters, all at home, as they saw off Weston-super-Mare, Devonport Services and Exmouth to move up to sixth.
Brixham, who make the trip for the second time this season after the original encounter was called off due to a frozen pitch an hour or so before kick-off, are in red-hot form.
They eased past Chew Valley to leapfrog Chew into second on points difference and have lost just one of their last seven games. However the hosts go into the game confident and are boosted by the inclusion of Conrad Burne who has arrived this week on loan from Plymouth Albion.
Although primarily a centre, he will line up at full-back in place of the unavailable James Slater.
That is the only change from last Saturday’s 29-24 success over Exmouth although lock Jake Crabb returns to the bench in place of winger Ollie Tomkies having had to drop out due to illness.
LAUNCESTON v Brixham: Conrad Burne, Archie Dinnis, Martin Kneebone, Tom Sandercock, Dan Pearce, Glenn Coles, Adam Collings; Ethan Pearce-Cowley, Mitch Hawken, Andy Knight, Tom Bottoms, Leion Cole, George Bone, Lloyd Duke (capt), Brandon Rowley. Replacements: Alex Bartlett, Levent Bulut, Jake Crabb.
Counties One Western West
BUDE head to leaders Cullompton looking to pull off one of the surprises of the season.
The Seasiders are holding their own in a very competitive division and are still firmly in with a shout of survival.
Last week they more than matched Bideford before a series of injuries halted their momentum in North Devon, eventually going down 27-7.
Cullompton were shocked 14-13 in the East Devon derby with Tiverton for their first loss of the campaign and Bude will be wary of a home onslaught.
When the two sides met back in September, Cully won 38-3 against a Bude side still coming to terms with several departures.
Bude are missing a whole host of players from last weekend. Their starting front row of Jason Bolt, Rory Mead and Chris Allin are out and are replaced by Fraser Martyn, Martin George and Aaron Tharme. Usual second teamers Alex Robinson and Steve Bromwich start at lock and blindside-flanker respectively while the backs see a recall for versatile duo Shaun Andrew (wing) and Luke Wilson (full-back). The bench also includes team manager Mark Kendrick.
BUDE at Cullompton: Luke Wilson, Jack Horwell, Ben Tharme, Ed Hilliam-Cooke, Shaun Andrew, Olly Denford, Olly Mounce; Fraser Martyn, Martin George, Aaron Tharme, Alex Robinson, Will Kingdon, Steve Bromwich, Finley Fry, Freddie Saxton (capt). Replacements: Ben Harries, Jacob Rundle, Mark Kendrick.
Counties Two Cornwall
SALTASH’S title hopes are all but over after consecutive away draws, but they now face a real fight with St Austell and Veor to finish as runners-up.
However they have moved level on points with previously second-placed St Austell Seconds without having to take to the field as Helston have conceded their clash.
The Ashes also have a game in-hand but with St Austell and leaders St Ives still to play, there’s plenty of twists and turns in the remaining weeks of the season. The Seconds are in action at Moorlands Lane against Plympton Victoria (2.30pm) in the Devon Merit Table.
Liskeard-Looe are also in action tomorrow when they take on Camborne School of Mines in Penryn.
The Red and Blacks beat Bodmin 13 days ago but were brought back down to earth last Saturday as St Austell beat them 45-0.
However the Miners are struggling this term so Liskeard will fancy their chances of making the long trip back with some points for their efforts.
Counties Three Cornwall
BUDE Seconds have a free shot tomorrow when they welcome leaders Perranporth to Bencoolen Meadow (2.30pm).
Bude have won just twice all season while the Brewers have won 12 and lost just two of their 14 outings and know that four wins from their final four games will see them crowned champions.
Bude are likely to finish second bottom but with players gaining experience week on week, they will hope to be in a much better position to compete next term.
Women’s Junior Cup (Last 16)
THE biggest day in the fledgling history of Launceston Ladies takes place on Sunday when they visit Dings Crusaders in the last 16 of the Women’s Junior Cup (2pm).
Launceston are second in Women’s NC 2 South West (West) while Dings are runaway leaders in the equivalent Central division with a perfect 35 points from a possible 35.
Both sides will fancy their chances of a place in the last eight of a national competition.
The tie takes place at Shaftesbury Park, Winterbourne. The postcode is BS16 1LG. Launceston have also named their team for the game and is as follows:
LAUNCESTON LADIES at Dings Crusaders: Holly Williams, Mia Wray, Charlotte Crocker, Megan Tucker, Abigail Matthews, Joey Sandercock, Amy Warman; Mel Ruby, Pyper Karkeek, Kim Upcott, Gemma Old, Megan Arnold, Caitlin Hancock, Rhiannon Thomas, Vicki Doidge. Subs: Ann-Marie Risdon, Lynn Pridham, Avril Crabb, Poppy Speare, Alicia England, Emily Kneale, Lauren Carlyon.