STEVE Smith is hoping that Burton RFC can win tomorrow to build some momentum ahead of next weekend’s crunch clash with promotion rivals Hereford.
The Crofters bounced back from a defeat to champions-elect Lichfield with a win over Malvern last weekend that director of rugby Smith described as a “demolition”.
They travel to rock-bottom Market Bosworth tomorrow, kick-off 3pm, looking to put some distance between themselves and third-placed Hereford in the race for the Midlands One West promotion play-off position.
“The players and club have their feet firmly on the ground,” said Smith.
“Although we are currently sitting in the play-off place, we know that one slip-up will let Hereford or one of the other chasing teams back into the hunt.
“As a group, the players and the coaching staff are taking it very much one game at a time, with the focus very much on Market Bosworth.
“With Bosworth sitting at the bottom of the table, they will be fighting for a big scalp.
“The players must ensure a win with hopefully a bonus point, which could create a buffer leading into the last five games of the season.
“A week later we play Hereford away which will be a huge game for the club and our chances of promotion through the play-offs.”
The Crofters will be boosted by the return of two key players from injury in Kelvin Browne and Jono Parkinson, and though both will only be named amongst the replacements, Smith believes they could have an impact on the final, crucial weeks of the campaign.
“We are well aware of the quality back row players on the bench, with Kelvin Browne and Jono Parkinson back from injury and raring to make an impact on the season,” he said.
“We will travel to Market Bosworth on brimming with confidence following our 72-26 demolition of Malvern last weekend.
“The scoreline, although large, could also have been many more, with kicks missed – and we seemed to relax for a 20-minute spell where Malvern started to get back into the game.
“We were full of direct running, with many of the forwards making surging runs – Tivey, Harris, Gazzard and Hucknall penetrated almost at will, with some exceptional rugby played at times to entertain the large Peel Croft crowd.”
Simon Bradley and Damon Varney will return to the front and back row respectively, while Ben Cook is preferred to Joe Briggs in the back row.
Smith said: “The back line will remain the same as last week, and with the pace and tempo starting to flow last week, they will be keen to stretch the Bosworth team to create gaps and holes all over the pitch.”
Josh Cartwright is still missing with an ankle ligament injury, and so James Burrough will captain the side.