RUGBY: Bassett second-string out to defend Shield

ROYAL Wottoon Bassett II are going for back-to-back Wiltshire Second XV Shield titles this weekend against Dorchester.

Bassett came through ties against Minety II and Melksham II on their way to the final held at Trowbridge tomorrow.

Last year the Ballard’s Ash side beat the same opponents in the final 19-10 and Shimell is confident his team can delight the clubs’ travelling supporters by claiming the trophy again.

“We were champions last year and we have a chance of doing this again. Everytime we’ve played we’ve been well prepared,” said Shimell.

“We’re feeling quite confident, with the backs and the forwards we’ve got, it’ll be whether we can penetrate as much as we need. A cup match is always different to a league match in defence but the guys are showing great pace and form at the moment.”

Bassett recently announced the intention to launch a third XV for next season such is their volume of numbers available for the seconds. Shimell said that him and captain Owen Richardson will have a tough task putting together the 22-man squad for the final.

Shimell said that he would try and keep faith with the players that had got them through the early rounds where availability and fitness permitted.

“Everybody wants a place, we’re limited to 22 player and so far we have had a lot of players play for us over the season.”

Shimell is sure whoever is selected would be raring to go and be capable of putting in some of the things Bassett have been practicing in training ahead of the final.

“We’ve been working on quite heavily on what we call the latch, making sure the carrier always has someone else right behind him, to latch on and keep him on his feet as long as possible in the contact.

“Last week the players showed skill in identifying weak players and weak areas, and as a coach it is good to see that. I’m feeling confident that if we can take this into this weekend, then we should do well.”

With no first team game, Bassett will be looking to take about 30-40 supporters to Trowbridge.

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