All Blacks a promotion benchmark for Old Boys
BEATING Gosford All Blacks this weekend might not be the be-all and end-all for Swindon College Old Boys’ hopes of going up, but coach Mark Roshier insists consistently triumphing against that level of opposition is the key to his team achieving its ultimate goal.
Old Boys currently sit second in the Berks/Bucks & Oxon Premier having played two games, and with fellow promotion hopefuls Gosford their visitors tomorrow, Roshier insists maximum points will go a long way even at this early stage of the season.
“Gosford are another title contender, they have got some new players and are pushing for promotion,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a banana skin for us, but these are the games we need to win.
“If we want to get what we say we want - promotion - then we have to win games like this.”
Number eight Matt McKee and openside flanker James McLaughlin are both injured so Richie Smith and Joe Dickens will deputise.
Old Boys’ last competitive outing ended with them losing 25-21 to Chipping Norton after surrendering a 15-point lead, but Roshier has been pleased with the collective reaction of the players.
“We’ve had two weeks of training because we had no game last Saturday, and whereas last week people were focusing on what they did wrong, this week they have been putting it right,” he said.
“Our sessions this week were much more about working positively together as a team. We don’t tend to make mistakes twice.”
Elsewhere in the region, Supermarine travel to Trowbridge in Southern Counties North missing the unavailable George Cowley and Shaun Higgins.
Supermarine first-team coach Gavin Russ said: “Despite defeats in the last two weeks, confidence is high. The work ethic is there and we’ve been working on things that need improving.
“We’ll go there in buoyant mood and hopefully come away with a result, although we know it’s going to be a very hard fixture.”
Wootton Bassett host Sherborne in the same division and the former side welcome back wing Andy Phoenix, while centre David Martin is hoping to shake off a virus in time to be fit. Player-coach Tim Gallimore is expected to take his place on the bench.
Chippenham go in search of their fourth win of the season at Amersham & Chiltern in National League 3 South West.
Marlborough take on hosts Devizes 2nds in Dorset & Wilts 1 North while Minety entertain Combe Down.
In Dorset & Wilts 2 North, Fairford travel to Combe Down’s second-string while Cricklade pay a visit to Westbury 2nds.