Sunderland Spartans are gearing up to face local rivals Northumbria Mustangs on Sunday in search of their first win of the season.
Spartans have begun the season with two losses – a narrow 6-2 defeat to Glasgow and then a 35-0 defeat to Hull Sharks.
President Sherief El-Shakankery spoke about the Hull defeat saying: “They came out as we predicted with a heavy passing game, which for the most part the defence was able to contain.
“However, the offence struggled to move the ball and eventually Hull took advantage of with a pick-6, which was shortly followed by a defensive mistake and consequently led to an easy touchdown for the Sharks.
“The fatigue set in and heads drop and things just fell apart in the second half. As with any team in any sport the important next step after a loss is to critically analyse our flaws and get back to training and work hard looking forward to the next game.
Spartans face Northumbria Mustangs this Sunday, who currently sit one place above Sunderland in the table after beating Hull 32-14 last Sunday.
“Northumbria will definitely be an interesting match-up as they defeated Hull. However, they suffered a heavy loss to Newcastle, who were beaten by Hull.”
This league is extremely tough and totally unpredictable. Running-back Misba Islam is also looking forward to the local derby.
“Northumbria are a tough team, they’ve shown how strong their offence and run game is by beating Hull so dominantly,” he said. “However their defence has been exposed in all 3 of their games.
“It’s here where we are going take the fight to them, if it turns out to be a shootout when we will have to score more and I am confident we can do that.
“The game is a massive rivalry and it has always been a game that decides how our season goes. This game is a game that can turn our season around, we truly don’t deserve to be 0-2.
“I believe our team can go out and get the W in our first home game of the season.
The clash against Northumbria will kick-off at 2pm on Sunday December 4 at Druids Park in Woolsington, just a two-minute walk from Callerton Parkway Metro station.