Preview: Gateshead v South Wales

Liam Duffy’s chances of recovering from a back injury are rated as only 50/50 by Gateshead director of rugby Chris Hood.

David Cash (torn hamstring) is definitely ruled out for a month, but returning duo Jason Payne and James Hall both came through Monday’s defeat at Rochdale without reporting any problems.

Hood said: “Monday was frustrating more than anything. We really believed that we could pick something up, and the first quarter showed that. But we gave away some penalties and showed our inexperience, and that created frustration.

“We gave away some soft tries through individual mistakes. However, they’re easily corrected and we had a really good session on Tuesday.”

He added: “South Wales haven’t really surprised me. They’ve got the base of a squad who’ve been playing a high level of rugby either with Wales or the former Crusaders set-up.

They’ve got a very strong side, a good coach and the right sort of back up from a Super League side to give them some good foundations.”

Scorpions’ star Geraint Davies will face a late fitness test, while Curtis Cunningham will again come into consideration to make his debut after being the 18th man against Blackpool Panthers.

South Wales coach Anthony Seibold said: “This will be a tough challenge for the players. We have a short turnaround with only five days between games and a long journey to Gateshead who are always very difficult at home.

“It will test our players, but we need this challenge after the disappointment of Monday, and we want to bounce back and show further improvement.”

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