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Burton RFC v Berkswell and Balsall: Match preview

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 10, 2014

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BURTON RFC director of rugby Steve Smith is salivating at the prospect of his “tasty” front row this weekend.

Following last week’s late cancellation – with scheduled opponents Barkers Butts calling the game off due to a waterlogged pitch at 11.30am – the Crofters will take to the field tomorrow looking to kick-start their 2014 promotion push at the top of the table against Berkswell and Balsall, kick-off 2.15pm.

Tomorrow’s visitors, who have won just three games this season, on paper will visit Peel Croft fearing the worst with Burton able to select a monster pack.

Smith said: “A front row of (Matt) Tivey, (James) Burroughs and (Charl) Neethling will be a tasty site for all Crofters fans, with (Tom) Harris joining (Josh) Cartwright in a front five which will look to dominate the opposition in the tight.

“Although we should dominate in every set piece, the challenge for our front five is to ensure they add work rate around the pitch and in particular aim to carry the ball hard into the opposition.”

Craig Dutton, Joe Briggs and Ian Gilmour return to the back row, of which Smith is also proud.

He said: “Our new-look back row looks balanced, with Dutton returning to no 8, and Briggs back in to scavenge, which he does very well.

“At blindside flanker will be (Joe) Gazzard, whose fitness has been improving every week and will add yet another line-out option.

“The back line takes on a more experienced and pacy look with Gilmour replacing the injured Will Peach, who will unfortunately be missing for the rest of the season with a broken arm.

“This team looks full of pace, power and size which, if used correctly, will be a constant threat to Berkswell and Balsall, and an entertaining game at Peel Croft is expected.”


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