The Rugby World Cup final on Saturday means a weekend off for Douglas and Vagabonds men’s sides.

But Vagabonds women do travel to Southport in the Papa Johns Intermediate Cup, while Southern Nomads head to Parkonians in the Cheshire Bowl and Ramsey host Western Vikings in the Ravenscroft Manx Shield.

Big job for Vagas Ladies

Probably the toughest fixture of the afternoon will be for Vagabonds women who have a trip to Southport.

Vagas played in the same league as their Lancashire hosts last season and lost to them twice - 67-10 at Ballafletcher and 48-7 at Southport - as the English side cruised to promotion after an unbeaten season where they conceded only 85 points in 12 matches.

Southport are now in a lofty Women’s Championship North Two and sit mid-table after playing only two games thus far: a narrow defeat at Sefton and a win at home against Manchester.

Vagas played Sefton in an earlier round of the cup and lost 66-0 on the road. The Manx side have a fairly young squad this season though and they’re gaining experience every week.

A number in the squad have less than five appearances to their names and this means that it will take time as they learn from week to week.

Kyla Quayle has been mentioned in dispatches more than once already though, while Greeba Taisia has settled into a front-row berth neatly and with experience around them in the form of Sammie Macdonald and Sophie Henry, they will develop nicely, although it’s unlikely that they’ll take Southport this week.

Nomads away

to Parkonians

PDMS Southern Nomads head for Oxton Parkonians in the Cheshire Bowl.

The two sides haven’t met competitively before, although the clubs have probably played each other in historic Easter friendlies.

Parkonians are playing in NORIWUL Division Three West this season and sit in fourth place after seven matches, winning four and losing three. With 12 points separating the top eight sides though, this league looks like it could be close.

Nomads lost heavily to Ramsey two weeks ago but bounced back last Saturday with a big win against Western Vikings. In the Bowl, they lost away at New Brighton but did pick up a losing bonus point which may yet be useful.

Parkonians haven’t played yet but, with New Brighton sitting high and dry on two from two, they look to be favourites.

Nomads have a pack strong enough to win away and, with Will Taisia and Harry Corrin firing on all cylinders in the back line, they have pace aplenty out wide and crucially the senior players know what it takes to win in Cheshire.

I suspect this game will be very close.

Vikings visit Ramsey

The only game to take place domestically is the visit of Western Vikings to Ramsey in the Manx Shield.

Both sides are building towards their own Cheshire matches later this year, with Ramsey already one foot in the Plate final.

The northerners boast a fairly mobile pack of forwards and a backline which just oozes pace and class. Jake Richmond is tearing things up at centre and Brandon Atchison was in the top-10 points scorers in England last season.

Vikings play a simple but effective game with forwards running aggressive lines. Ed Knight bagged a brace in their opener, big Liam Sweeney returned for a trot last Saturday and Charlie Henthorn guesting from Douglas has proved a useful fillip to the squad.

While Vikings are capable on their day, I can’t see them beating Ramsey.


Saturday, October 28:

Papa Johns Intermediate Cup

Southport v Vagabonds

@ Southport

Cheshire Bowl

Oxton Parkonians v PDMS Southern Nomads @ Parkonians ko 2.30pm

Ravenscroft Manx Shield

Ramsey v Western Vikings

@ Mooragh Park ko 2.15pm