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SONICS SECONDS TAKE CENTRE STAGE

Bristol Sonics’ second team will take centre stage this Saturday (28 May), as they look to avenge a recent defeat by local rivals Gloucestershire Warriors at Aretians RFC (kick-off 2.30pm, free entry).With Sonics’ first team having a deserved week-off because of the Cooperative Rugby League Conference Regional Championships on Monday, 30 May, attention turns to the club’s fast-improving second team – and a tasty local derby with old foes Gloucestershire Warriors.When the two sides met a fortnight ago, it was the Warriors who came out on top. While the Sonics seconds led 12-10 after 15 minutes, they were torn apart out wide either side of half time and finished off losing 66-22. This Saturday, Bristol Sonics A will be looking for an improved performance – and a first ever Cooperative Rugby League Conference West of England Division victory.Since the two sides last locked horns, the Sonics seconds have picked up their first win of the season – a 54-18 friendly win over Somerset Vikings – and will go into Saturday’s home game with Gloucestershire full of confidence.Bristol Sonics Director of Coaching Karl Fearnley may use this week’s ‘A’ team fixture to give a run out to some fringe first team players, in a bid to top up their fitness and game time ahead of the club’s big showdown with fellow RLC West Midlands title hopefuls Northampton Demons on June 4. Fearnley and second team player/coach Arran Simm have also made it clear to Sonics’ A-teamers that a good performance could be enough to elevate anyone into first team contention.Fearnley said: “Already this season we’ve promoted two or three players from the second team to the first team, based purely on performances. Both winger Mike Norman and utility forward Peter Butcher started in the seconds, played brilliantly, and were given a first team chance. This is what we want to see – competition for places. I’m looking for the team to go out and put in a performance on Saturday – to put their hands up and say ‘pick me’.”

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