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Home > News > Westoe v Middlesborough Preview
Your News Westoe v Middlesborough Preview

WESTOE entertain Middlesbrough on Saturday with plenty to prove to themselves and their followers.

The wounds are still raw after their 63-8 thrashing at Hull last week and Gareth Nesbits men will be anxious not to add salt to them by losing to less formidable opponents on their own turf.

The pacey, powerful Humbersiders were at times quite awesome during a rampaging second half that brought them eight tries, but too many Shieldsmen know their own shortcomings on the day contributed to the measure of the defeat.

So a convincing win this weekend would do much to restore confidence as well as to ease the anxiety of the Wood Terrace faithful who received the news of the Ferens Ground rout with incredulity.

Coach Joe Shaw had a heart to heart to heart talk with his team during training on Tuesday and then declared the sad episode closed.

Big Nes explained: Things were said that needed to be said and, while it has been a rude awakening for us, we want now to put the matter to bed and get on with the rest of the season.

It is a good thing that we are playing Middlesbrough who, like Hull, are also a strong and physical side which gives us all the chance to prove ourselves both individually and as a team.

The bruising clash has taken its toll on the casualty front, ruling out centre Graeme Haswell, lock Ryan Foster and number 8 John Dye for Saturdays game. Additionally, lock Paul Bird is doubtful and full back David Richardson, who cried off the Hull game because his wife was expecting a baby at any time, pulled a hamstring playing for the Seconds at home.

Inevitably, this will revive memories of Dunes Adventure Island-sponsored Westoes injury-wracked start to last season which cruelly put a dent in their promotion ambitions.

But Nesbit declared: I genuinely dont think it will cause us anything like the same problems. We have good new recruits who have added depth to the squad and so are still able to field a strong side rather than a patched-up one..

Without wishing to prolong the pain inflicted by Hull, there has been rather gloomy interest in how the result rates historically in the clubs annals of heavy defeats.

Well, certainly it is was the blackest day since the leagues were reorganized into their existing format in 2000-01, the worst hitherto being in September, 2006, when Westoe got a 47-0 hiding from home club and eventual champions Caldy.

But the nearest they have come to such a deficit defeat in that period was a 54-3 mauling they got from visitors Darlington - then two divisions above - in the first round of the Durham Senior Cup in March, 2004.

Interestingly, on that occasion David Haswell, so vital a part of the Westoe scene since his return, was in the opposing ranks and helped pile on the agony with two tries and five conversions against his old hometown club.

So there you are. Now, lets turn a page and close a chapter.

Like Westoe, Middlesbrough come to town with a win and a defeat behind them, having lost the first game 36-13 at West Hartlepool and then a convincing 39-0 victory last week over visitors West Park (St Helens) who already have the look of becoming the North One whipping boys.

For all that it now matters, Westoe won both games against the Teessiders very narrowly last season: 25-22 at home and then 13-12 at Acklam Park.

*The Beacon Electrical (NE) Ltd-sponsored Thirds and Vic Young-sponsored Fourths are also in league action, the former away at Novocastrians and the latter against Gosforth at Oakleigh Gardens.

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