Ahead of a massive pair of BUCS Wednesday fixtures, Northumbria Sport head of rugby Darren Fearn is confident that both W1 and M1 can come away with big wins as they look to finish their respective seasons strongly.
W1 currently sit second in the BUCS Premier North table while M1 sit in third in the BUCS Super Rugby table after their magnificent 24-15 come from behind win over Durham last Friday.
And while a win for W1 on Wednesday would see them potentially take top spot from their local rivals Durham, who they lost to earlier on in the season, Fearn was adamant that they were more than capable of pulling off an upset.
“It’ll be a tough game for the girls,” said Fearn.
“Durham are sitting at the top of the table – plus there’s the factor that it’s a local derby too.
“Earlier on in the season, from speaking to the women’s coach Jack [Lambert] I think that the score flattered them [Durham].
“It’ll be massive for the girls and their coaches to get a win against Durham – Jack’s done a brilliant job as the head coach of that programme and has a group of players that have really bought into it too.
“So, it’s going to be a big task for the girls, but one that they’re definitely capable of pulling off.”
Meanwhile, Fearn’s M1 will take on an in-form Leeds Beckett side – who managed to do the double over Northumbria last season.
While both sides had a mixed start to the BUCS Super Rugby season, the two northern outfits have gotten into their stride in the last few weeks making this tie a mouth-watering clash.
And with both teams in the form of their lives, Fearn admitted he was expecting a tough test when his M1 side face off against Beckett.
“Leeds will be a unique challenge for us,” said Fearn.
“They’re probably the most physical team in the league bar Exeter.
“Last season, they were the only team to beat us twice so there’s a bit of an extra incentive for us.
“We know that they’re going to try and go through us – they recruit players who can do that.
“So, the challenge for us is going to be can we stop that directness – we have to be able to stop that directness if we’re going to come away with anything.”