RUGBY: Spalding face unknown quantity as Derbyshire side Tupton look to end Town's unbeaten home record in Midlands Three East (North) at Memorial Field on Saturday
Spalding’s unbeaten home record in Midlands Three East (North) could go any number of ways against unknown quantity Tupton at Memorial Field on Saturday.
The Chesterfield-based side visit the Elephants after running Kesteven close, losing by eight points, last Saturday and having beaten Sleaford two weeks earlier.
Meanwhile, Spalding collected their second win over Sleaford in as many months on Saturday, although the scoreline was a lot closer that the 53-point, nine-try demolition handed out by George Reid’s side in the NLD Shield on October 13.
Reid said: “In the past few seasons, we’ve been looking to improve our skill set and now we’ve done that, we can concentrate on our game plan of utilising the skill sets we’ve put in place.
“Those players who are very strong physically can be used more effectively as we have a wider and deeper squad than we’ve had before, with a good mix of youth and experience within the team.”
On one side of the mix forwards Ash Piccaver and Ash Ankar have supplied enough ball to keep winger Gav Sharman scoring tries, including two in Town’s 22-7 win against Sleaford last Saturday.
But young players Harry Cole, Willis Ingleby, Conall Mason and Ben Shields have also played their part in keeping Spalding’s unbeaten home record in the league intact.
Skipper Dan Adams said: “We seem to be able to pull results out the bag, although Saturday wasn’t the strongest form we’ve shown.
“Sleaford were a very determined side and our game plan to try and ship the ball out wide had to be adapted.
“When we did get the ball, we were able to make use of the gaps in Sleaford’s defence.
“But they put up a hell of a fight and we had to put some really good cycles of play together to get the scores.”
Tupton were promoted from Midlands Four East (North) last season, alongside Ashfield (currently fourth in Midlands Three East (North), with a record of 13 wins and three defeats.
Reid said: “We don’t know a lot about Tupton because they played in the lower leagues for the last few years.
“They are fairly solid up front, with big, strong forwards, so I know they’ll give us a game.
“So we’ve got to stick to our game plan and make sure that we execute effectively when we’re in areas where we can look to convert pressure into points.”
Adams said: “When you look at their results, Tupton have won three games out of nine in the league.
“But we have players pushing for first team places so our standards of play are starting to creep up.”