Phoenix targets revenge mission on rivals

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STOWMARKET Rugby club chairman John Phoenix is relishing the opportunity to get revenge over rivals Sudbury as the clubs prepare for tomorrow’s derby clash at Whittome Field (2.15pm).

It will be the second meeting between the sides in this season’s London Three North East campaign and after tomorrow’s hosts grabbed bragging rights and spoiled Stowmarket’s 50th anniversary celebrations back in September with a 17-3 victory at Chilton Fields, Phoenix believes his side are due a victory from their rivals, as he spoke of the excitement of facing Sudbury once again.

“I think it is fantastic, not just for us, but the county as a whole, that we are able to go to Sudbury for a league match and have that rivalry,” he said.

“It makes for some good banter between the sides and an exciting occasion.

“We are certainly due a league win over them after they beat us earlier in the season and we feel like we owe them a defeat.

“The rivalry has always been friendly, but it does add an extra incentive for us to go there and win.”

Stowmarket, currently in fourth place, go into the tie 10 points and two places above their opponents.

Although they suffered a narrow 18-16 defeat away to league leaders Holt on Saturday, Phoenix is still confident his side can target a promotion push as he reaffirmed how crucial victory over Sudbury could be.

“I think we are playing extremely well at the moment and, although we are a small squad, we are optimistic of having a successful season,” he added.

“We would like to target promotion this year and, although this match will not decide anything, it is crucial for us to keep pushing up the league.

“It would be a big blow if we were to lose the game.”