Thetford coach Jono Farmer warns team that Thurston offer tougher challenge ahead of league derby
Thetford Rugby Club’s head coach Jono Farmer has issued a warning to his team about the quality of derby rivals Thurston ahead of their league clash this weekend.
The London 3 Eastern Counties side are set to host their divisional rivals on Saturday (3pm) in their third match of the season, with Farmer’s warning that they are not the same team that won just three of their 20 outings last term.
Thurston are unbeaten from their first two outings, which includes a narrow 19-12 home win over Fakenham in their most recent fixture.
Thetford, meanwhile, go into it on the back of a high-scoring 10-try victory at home last weekend, beating Wisbech 70-26 as they recovered from a narrow 27-22 away defeat to Fakenham in their opening league match.
Farmer said: “It is a warning that Thurston won their game against Fakenham – we lost to them just the week before so it shows they are a good side capable of beating us too.
“We are expecting them to be a much stronger team than last season, they have definitely improved and represent a much tougher challenge.
“But so are we; we have quite a few new players who bring a lot of experience and we have plenty of tries in us.
“I coached at Thetford for a bit so I know the club well and the players too – we do see it as a derby game and as a very important match.
“You have to treat every game with a high level of importance at this level, but the close link between the two clubs – I have coached at both and the players know each other well too – really adds something to the game on and off the pitch.
“We are targeting a win as we see it as a winnable game for us.”
His confidence comes, at least in part, from the try-scoring bonanza against Wisbech with Hugo Fraser (two tries), Josh Clarke (2), Ryan Gardiner (2), Matt Trede, Jason Post, Will Martin and Jordan Morgan all touching down.
“I’m really pleased with the way my boys have played and their response to a loss the week before,” he said.
“It was quite a high-scoring game, we scored 10 tries, but I’m not happy with leaking 26 points at the other end, that’s something we need to work on.
“The players are enjoying their rugby and we will cause the teams in the league some problems.
“We went into Saturday’s game feeling like we had a point to prove. It was also important for the guys to figure out that if they play well, they can hammer anyone.”