Stowmarket coach John Holton says his side will need bonus point wins in last two games to have a chance of London 2 North East play-off spot
John Holton believes his Stowmarket side will have to claim bonus point wins in both of their last two games to have a chance of finishing in a play-off spot this season, writes Alex Moss.
With only two games left to play in their first-ever season in London 2 North East, the seventh level on the rugby union pyramid, Stowmarket sit in third place.
And ahead of a trip to second-from-bottom Harlow tomorrow (3pm), Holton’s charges trail second-placed Romford & Gidea Park, who occupy the play-off position, by just a solitary point.
“It’s gone really well,” said Holton, who is assisted in coaching the Chilton Fields-based side by player-coach Matt Edison.
“The players have responded to the training we’ve put on and what we’ve tried to put in place.
“We’re now one point behind Romford, but I think we’re going to need to win both of our games with bonus points if we are to go above them.
“I think that’s what we have to do, and it’s not going to be an easy task. I think Harlow still need a couple of points to be safe, so they will be geed up for it on Saturday.
“Then we’ve got Southwold, which will be a tough game against our local rivals, so we’ll just have to see how it goes.
“We’ve got a good squad. We’ve probably used over 30 players and they’ve all contributed.
“Everyone’s fighting for their place, but they all support each other as well. It’s a really good atmosphere.”
Last weekend, Stowmarket returned to winning ways with a convincing 51-14 victory at home against bottom side Basildon.
After conceding an early try, the hosts responded with tries from Leif Bjornson, Dan Garrard, Joe Fifield (two) and Edison handing Holton’s men a 34-7 lead at the break.
In the second half, Brad Durrant scored the try of the game, sidestepping past several defenders to score under the posts, while winger Bjornson completed his hat trick with two more tries to take Stowmarket past the 50-point mark.
- Thurston return to action for the first time since winning the Suffolk Chadacre Cup, when they host West Norfolk tomorrow (3pm).
Head coach Mark Jones, and his newly-crowned champions, who beat Ipswich YM 19-14 in the final a fortnight ago, were without a game in London 3 Eastern Counties last weekend.
Jones’ men resume their league campaign tomorrow, as they host fourth-placed West Norfolk for their final home game of the season.
Thurston sit second-from-bottom in the table, but are six points clear of basement side Ipswich with two games to go.
- Elsewhere in London 3 Eastern Counties, Thetford (5th) begin a home double-header to complete their fixtures by entertaining Holt tomorrow (3pm).
Thetford slipped to a narrow 10-7 defeat away at Crusaders last Saturday, to leave them clinging on to a top-five place by just a point.
This weekend’s visitors Holt, in third, are seven points behind leaders Wymondham and four points adrift of second-placed Ely.
l Meanwhile, in Eastern Counties Greene King 2 West, Mildenhall & Red Lodge (4th) will hope to keep the pressure on the sides above them with another victory this weekend.
The Red Lodge Sports Pavilion-based outfit were handed a walkover win from their scheduled trip to bottom side Sawston last Saturday.
Next up for them is a home tie with fifth-placed Shelford V tomorrow (3pm).