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Fourth-placed Phoenix next challenge for Bees

By Richard Smith

“One game at a time” is still the mantra for the Bees as Doncaster Phoenix come to Portway

Doncaster Phoenix are the next challenge this Saturday (20th January at Portway, KO 2.15pm) for a Bees side still unbeaten this season.

The South Yorkshire outfit – who ground share with Championship side Doncaster Knights - are currently fourth in the Midlands Premier division.

The Bees completed their fourteenth consecutive league victory last weekend at Derby. The 23-36 win and a try bonus point maintained an eight-point lead at the top of the league – still with two games in hand – ahead of nearest rivals Peterborough Lions.

Although the statistics will not be of particular interest to a coaching set up focused only on a “game by game” approach, the Bees are now the only side in the top 5 levels of English rugby to have a 100% winning record this season. Indeed, if you include end of last season/pre-season, the first team is unbeaten in 19 games, last tasting defeat at the hands of Sheffield RUFC on 8th April 2017.

The home game at Portway this Saturday is the return fixture for two sides who previously met in Round 5 at the end of September, when the Bees ran out 29-57 winners. Then, for the second week in succession, the Bees ran in nine tries and racked up 57 points against a Doncaster side who had no answer to power and pace on display from the visitors that day.

Andy Weaver, Zane Raimondi, Harry O’Brien, Max Rodman and Ashley Scriven all got themselves on the scoresheet, as did Umraan Jadwatt and JT Nabetelevu who both bagged a brace of tries each. Jack Jolly chipped in with six successful conversions, which rounded off another highly satisfactory day at the office for the Bees.

So far this season, Doncaster Phoenix have won nine of their fifteen matches and will arrive at Portway on Saturday fresh from a hard-fought 48-28 victory over a much-fancied Sandbach side.

Pete Glackin and Stewart Pearl keep faith with the 18-man squad that defeated Derby last weekend. The only change to the starting XV sees Joe Foreman take the No.1 shirt, with Kurtis Payne on the bench. Danny Wright’s retains the skipper’s armband for a second week.

The Hornets meanwhile travel to Derbyshire for the second time in a fortnight to take on Burton 2nds in a Midlands Reserve League fixture.

Bees squad v Doncaster Phoenix (H, 2.15pm KO): - 1. Joe Foreman, 2. Zane Raimondi, 3. Matt Probert, 4. Andy Weaver, 5. Matt Spink, 6 Danny Wright ©, 7. Michael Stephens, 8, Umraan Jadwat, 9. Jack Secher 10. Max Rodman, 11. Steve Johns, 12. Nathan Tilsley ©, 13. Jimmy Oliver, 14. Tawanda Chipadza, 15. Harry O’Brien, 16. Kurtis Payne, 17. Keanan Cooper & 18. Ben Phillips.

Referee: - Sarah Toll

Hornets squad v Burton 2s (A, 2.15 pm KO): - 1. Jake Ngatchu 2. George Radburn, 3. Harry Smith, 4. Reece Donaldson, 5. Ed Krawlecki, 6. Pete Logan, 7. Sam Allen, 8. Chris Thompson ©, 9. Sean O’Sullivan, 10. Tyler Price, 11. Diaba, 12. Jevon Hinds, 13. Sonny Young, 14. Ace Summers, 15. Ben Cooper, 16. Jacob Lisle, 17. Harry Jackson, 18. Cameron May, 19. Aron Boayke, 20. Harry Barnes, 21. Matthew Collier.

Sat Nav DE14 3RH

Updated 13:13 - 25 Jan 2018 by Richard Smith

Where next?

Fixture update - postponement means more shuffling Doncaster Phoenix league game rescheduled, with a knock on effect for the North Midlands Cup Semi clash
Fixture Update – North Midlands Cup Semi Final Friday Night Lights for Bees v Bromsgrove NMC Semi Final, on 16th March

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