REBELS V SCUNTHORPE PREVIEW

Sunday May 26, 2013
The ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels face the Scunthorpe Scorpions, the defending Premier League Champions, twice in quick succession this week, firstly at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Bank Holiday Monday before welcoming the Scorpions back to the Oaktree Arena on Wednesday evening with the usual 7.30pm start time.

The good news for the Rebels is that their ‘wounded soldier’ Nick Morris has been declared fit to return to the side for Monday’s visit to Scunthorpe’s Eddie Wright Raceway, Morris having been a member of the Scorpions’ team that defeated Somerset in the Championship deciding Play-Off Final at the end of last season before making the switch to Somerset during the winter.

“It is great news that Nick is now recovered in order to return to the side for Monday’s match,” said Rebels team manager Garry May, “we wanted him to be 100% ready before his return, there was no point in rushing that for Monday only for him to aggravate things and find himself side-lined once again.”

Having fought out a titanic struggle against Scunthorpe in last year’s Play-Off Final, the Rebels will find very little change in the Scorpions’ septet compared to the one they faced in that Final, Scunthorpe having retained 5 of that Championship winning team, the only changes being the aforementioned move of Nick Morris to Somerset, he being replaced by his Australian compatriot Ryan Douglas, who is in his debut season of racing in the UK, and the inclusion of Lewis Blackbird as Douglas’ reserve partner, Blackbird being recently signed to the Scorpions’ septet following his release by Leicester.

Scunthorpe are headed by 3 British rider’s, their number 1 Josh Auty being backed up by ex-British Under-21 Champion David Howe, who has recently held a much deserved testimonial meeting, and Ashley Birks, who captained the side to their historic Championship win last year. There is, however, a slight doubt about Howe’s participation in Wednesday’s meeting following a couple of falls in Scunthorpe’s match at Edinburgh last Friday night.

The Scorpions top 5 is rounded out by two young Danish riders, Thomas Jørgensen and Michael Palm Toft, both who are now in their 3rd season with the North Lincolnshire side, though Jørgensen suffered a broken shoulder in a recent Danish League match and is currently side-lined and as result will miss this week’s matches between the two sides.

“Of course some might look upon this as our chance to exact revenge on Scunthorpe for our defeat at their hands in last year’s Play-Off Final,” May continued, “but that is now history and I’m more focussed on us looking to come away from their place with some league points to our name and then collecting all 3 match points from Wednesday’s return fixture at the Oaktree Arena.”

Scunthorpe Scorpions OTA Record

P – 9
W – 0
D – 0
L – 9
F – 340
A – 493

Biggest Win – n/a
Heaviest Defeat – 65-29 (8/10/2010)
Last Time – Somerset 49-44 Scunthorpe (26/10/2012)

Teams:

Somerset – Jason Doyle [c] (9.34), Nick Morris (7.98), Josh Grajczonek (7.26), Alex Davies (5.66), Kyle Newman (5.33), Tom Perry (3.53), Stefan Nielsen (3.00); Team manager: Garry May

Scunthorpe – Josh Auty (8.09), David Howe (if fit) [c] (7.89), rider replacement for Thomas Jørgensen (6.42), Ashley Birks (5.59), Michael Palm Toft (5.21), Ryan Douglas (5.00), Lewis Blackbird (3.00); Team manager: David Peet



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