Double trouble for Robins against Pirates
5:30am Saturday 19th April 2014 in By Michael Reeves, Deputy sports editor
SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter cut a disappointed figure as he watched his side slumped to consecutive defeats to Poole Pirates on Good Friday.
The South Coast men also claimed the Elite Shield with an aggregate score of 103-79 as the 47-45 win at the Abbey Stadium added to their 56-34 success earlier in the day.
Robins put in a better display at Blunsdon with skipper Troy Batchelor leading the way with 12 points, while in Poole the Aussie claimed Swindon’s solitary heat success following a dominant display from the Pirates.
Rossiter said: “It was a pretty disappointing day all around “Everything went against us, in fairness we were beaten by the better side.
“In the morning we were outclassed and in the evening we were in there fighting.
“We have to get the middle order firing. Simon (Gustafsson) is struggling with engines, I think Nicolai is struggling with confidence.”
With concerns over how his team is performing, Rossiter insists that he will not rush into making any changes.
“It is time to gather my thoughts, don’t make rash decisions, sit down and think about it all because this was a big blow to us losing,” he said.
“Technically we should have won, but it was summed up with Simon (Gustafsson) losing his (steel) shoe in heat 14, he falls off – it is difficult to ride without a steel shoe.”
The Robins chief felt that his team should have been able to put the disappointment of the morning meet behind them as they looked to gain revenge from their 22-point loss.
“I think (the defeat) it should have had the opposite affect (psychologically).
“We should have been saying ‘we’ve had a bad morning and now we need to pick ourselves up’.
“I know Simon (Gustafsson) is struggling with engines big style, Nick (Morris) turned it around from the morning, and was just a bit unfortunate with his last race – don’t forget he is riding at a tough number there.”
The morning meet could not have gone much worse for Swindon as they could only claim success in heat 10, while Pirates were a man down for the majority of the match as Shamek Pawlicki crashed out in heat six and required a trip to the hospital for a CT scan.
The Pirates star was given the all-clear to ride in Swindon and he came back with a 9+1.
But the biggest concern for the Robins is that Klindt after a disappointing 5+1 on the south coast with two seconds and a third could only follow that up with five points in the evening.
Benji Compton, coming in for the unavailable Steve Worrall at Blunsdon, got off to a flying start in Robins colours as he picked up a win and two seconds, however, his fellow reserve Dan Greenwood is struggling with the step up to the Elite League.
Batchelor led the charge for Swindon in both meets, but the Aussie captain will be disappointed that his side were unable to claim victory on a dramatic final heat of the day as Pawlicki came back to beat Peter Kildemand into third and ensure a second win of the day for the Pirates.
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