BURTON RFC will have “a foot in the play-offs” if they beat promotion rivals Hereford tomorrow.
That is the view of coach Steve Briggs, who also says the club have “one big weekend” ahead of them, with their Under-18 side also facing the biggest weekend of their short careers.
While the Knights take on Carlisle in the quarter-final of the Colts Cup, the Crofters’ first string travel to Wyeside, kick-off 3pm, knowing that victory would edge them ever closer to securing second place in Midlands One West.
“It’s a key game, the biggest game we’ve played so far,” said Briggs.
“If we win, we’ve got a foot in the play-offs, and it’s that time of the season when players have to got to stand up and be counted.
“If we can win tomorrow and win our game in hand, you’d think that would be enough. It’s just about finishing it off now.”
After a dip towards the end of 2013, Burton have lost just twice this year, and one of those defeats was to champions-elect Lichfield.
They consolidated second place with a storming 57-13 win over Market Bosworth last weekend.
Sam Benjamin grabbed a hat-trick of tries in that match – his second treble in as many games, while youngster Dewi Williams is set to start on the wing after the former development squad player came off the bench and scored a try at Bosworth.
Jack Brooks misses out with a knee injury that is likely to rule him out for a few weeks, although it could be anterior cruciate ligament damage, which would be more serious.
“That’s a shame because he was playing really well, so we’re going to have to shuffled things round a bit,” said Briggs.
That shuffle will see Dave Archer move back to centre, although he is struggling with a knee injury himself.
Matthew Boden will revert to full-back, with Benjamin and Williams on the wings.
Charl Neethling, Craig Dutton and Will Brooks make up a strong bench, which Briggs says could be crucial down at Hereford.
“The thought process is that Hereford will come at you hard and fast,” he said.
“It’s a hostile environment, and the selectors thought they needed experience in there, as well as a powerful back row and a bench that can add to that.”