THE BIG PREVIEW: BMR ROCKETS VS WOLVES
Thursday July 13, 2017
The BMR Rockets’ 2017 campaign swings into its second half on Saturday as they reach match 15 of their 28 fixture regular season programme – and it doesn’t come much bigger than a home meeting against defending league champions Wolverhampton.

The Rockets upended the Wolves on an emotional opening night at the beginning of April. Much more recently, they went down 50-41 at Monmore Green in an enthralling encounter on Monday, as they fielded their new-look side for the first time and showed distinct improvement on their previous visit to the circuit, when they lost by 18 points.

Ben Barker will make his home debut for the club on Saturday, but fellow newcomer Justin Sedgmen has been forced to sit out the fixture following his heavy tumble in the Black Country, and Rye will operate Rider-Replacement as coverage. Elsewhere, former Rocket and Raider Ben Morley will guest for shoulder injury victim Rob Branford.

The Wolves, meanwhile, will parade the same septet as they fielded on Monday – which means a quick return to Hoddesdon for Ellis Perks, who deputised for Mark Riss in the first match. They, of course, also include the likes of Grand Prix star Freddie Lindgren, Australian Champion Sam Masters, double ELRC winner Rory Schlein and 2015 British U-21 Champion Kyle Howarth in their ranks.

It’s 5th vs 2nd in the table on Saturday, as the race to qualify for a top four spot really hots up, and Rye House Team Manager Peter Schroeck expects a real sizzler. “This one should be just as tense and tight as Monday in Wolverhampton, only this time they are coming to our place.

“This year is all about making the Play-Offs. We’ve got 14 matches to get our points together and get stuck in.

“There is no reason we can’t do it. As I said earlier this week, to go to Wolverhampton – a team at the top-end of the league – and lose by just 9 is not a bad result, and we would certainly take it if it was in the Play-Offs and over two legs.

“We’ve given ourselves a real chance with the changes we’ve made. Without reflecting badly on Eddie (Kennett) and (Ellis), it’s all about looking forwards now. The balance of the side is now built on consistency, and we aim to deliver on that over the next 14 matches - starting on Saturday.”

BMR Rockets:
Ben Barker, Chris Harris, Ben Morley (guest) Scott Nicholls (captain), Stuart Robson, Justin Sedgmen R/R, Ricky Wells

Wolverhampton:
Nathan Greaves, Kyle Howarth, Freddie Lindgren, Sam Masters, Ellis Perks (guest), Rory Schlein, Jacob Thorssell

Saturday’s Admission at Rye House: Adults £18, Seniors (over 60s) £16, Full Time Students (17-22) £10, Children (12-16) £6, Children (under 12) Free. Match Programme £2.00.

The action gets underway at 7pm prompt.