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TABLE-TOPPERS TO TEST SONICS’ SECONDS

Rugby fans in Bristol can enjoy two Bristol-Gloucester derbies for free on Saturday (July 16), when the two cities’ Rugby League clubs clash at Aretians RFC in Patchway.Bristol Sonics A, the club’s second team, face local rivals Gloucestershire Warriors in a top-of-the-table Cooperative Rugby League Conference West of England Division clash.Meanwhile, the two clubs U16 Academy teams will lock horns for the very first time in a curtain-raiser for the adult game, kicking off at 1pm. The game will mark the debut of the Sonics’ elite U16 side, who recently began training under the supervision of coaches Stafford Lloyd and Johann Schoeman at Filton College’s WISE campus.The afternoon’s main match will see the two in-form teams of the RLC West of England division clash in what could be a dress rehearsal for the Regional Grand Final.Gloucestershire Warriors sit top of the league after an unbeaten campaign, with Bristol four points behind in second. The Sonics are the only team to have taken a point off the Warriors so far this year, drawing 26-all at Arerians earlier in the season. Since then, the Sonics’ seconds have won four games on the bounce to climb to second in the table and all but secure a top three finish – and a vital chance of silverware via the play-offs.Bristol Sonics A coach Aran Simm said: ‘I’ve been really impressed by the way our lads have come on over the course of the season. Since we last played Gloucestershire, we’ve been in great form. They’re a fantastic team and it will be hard to beat them, but we’re confident that we can put in a good performance. It would be great to secure second place and guarantee a home tie in the play-offs.’

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