South Wales Warriors running back Joshua Hughes Photographer Craig Thomas/Replay Images

Revenge mission for the Black Knights in South Wales

by Twm Owen

The wounded Worcestershire Black Knights will be looking to settle some scores when they face a South Wales Warriors team that ran up nearly half a century of points against them a fortnight ago. 

The Warriors top Division Two South West of the British American Football Association (BAFA) league with a perfect 4-0 record but the Knights will be the first team they face for a second time. 

Worcestershire, on home turf, were put to the sword by the Warriors, who came away from the midlands with a 0-48 victory, and the Welsh side followed that with an emphatic 62-0 win over the Cornish Sharks, at Llanharan, last Sunday. 

Head coach Geraint Roberts has seen the Warriors establish themselves as a high scoring attack with a defense that hasn’t conceded since giving up a touchdown in week one to the Somerset Wyverns. 

Such was the dominance of the Warriors in their victory at Worcester the Black Knights had little chance to show the sort of form that had secured them three victories from their previous four games in what is only their second competitive season. 

But Roberts is braced for a joust with the Knights at Llanharan RFC’s Dairy Field this Sunday, July 1 (2.30pm) in the visiting team’s first game since that defeat on home soil. 

“I will be expecting a better performance from them this Sunday. I’m sure they’ll be coming down still hurting and would like to even up the scores and our defense was nasty against them,” said Roberts of this weekend’s visitors. 

If the Knights are to challenge they will need to get to grips with the home side’s running game, something they failed to do in Worcester. 

South Wales operate a simple game plan that aims to establish physical dominance by running  through teams from when they first take possession. Stocky powerful running back Joshua Hughes carries most of the load but the Warriors have depth at the position which keeps the offense moving and provides no rest for opposing defenses. 

The passing attack, which can be led by either Dean Jackson or Frenchman Max Ayoul at quarterback, is usually only brought into play after the ground game has put some scores on the board. 

In their two previous home games the Warriors’ large squad has given them an advantage over the Sharks and the Jurassic Coast Raptors who both travelled with small squads of just over 20 players and had to play in sweltering conditions. 

The Black Knights also have a large squad and the journey to South Wales is one of the shortest they face this summer. 

A week before hosting the Warriors the Black Knights registered a 50-6 victory at home over the Sharks and also scored 32 and 34 points, respectively, in victories over the Raptors and Wyverns. However they also conceded in both of those games. Their only defeat before falling to the Warriors was a 15-7 loss at second place Torbay Trojans. 

Sharks head coach Brian Smallworth, whose side have now faced the Trojans, the Warriors and the Black Knights, has backed the Welshmen to take the division title. 

He said: “I think the Warriors are a very good, classy act and are potential division winners.” 

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