Hallett Wants to Preserve Home Record

Plymouth Albion coach Kieran Hallett takes the warm up during the Rugby Union National League 1 match between Loughborough Students and Plymouth Albion at Loughborough University, Loughborough  on September 30th - PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

Plymouth Albion welcome Cambridge RFC to the Brickfields for their National League One game on Saturday, October 7 (KO 3pm).

Albion will be looking to build on last week’s seven try to four victory over Loughborough Students 28-49.

A closely-contested first half ended with the half time score level at 21-21, before the Devon side showed their dominance. Head coach Kieran Hallett was satisfied with the performance: “They had a couple of scores against the run of play but we felt comfortable that we could go up another gear. There was no panic and we pulled away in the second half.”

Hallett reserved particular praise for the set piece. He said: “It is becoming a real strength of ours. I am happy with the way the guys applied themselves. It was a long day, so to get up there and score that many points against a decent side was very pleasing.”

Fly half Dan Mugford chalked up an impressive individual tally of 19 points, kicking 100 per cent of his seven conversion attempts. Hallett recognizes the ‘Muggy effect’. He says: “It gives the rest of the side a bit of energy every time it happens. He’s playing well at the moment so hopefully he can carry on in that vein.”

Hooker Jamie Salter was singled out for his man of the match performance: “We scored a couple of driving maul tries that Salts got on the end of but he applied himself really well around the park. He’s an intelligent player who offers us different options. He understands what we are trying to do and he can benefit the team in his own way.”

Mid-table Cambridge are expecting a tough test when they travel west. Director of rugby Ross Stewart issued a stern warning after their 28-29 loss to Old Elthamians last week.

Speaking on the club website, he said: “If we play like that against Plymouth, they’ll put eighty points past us. We’ve got some work to do this week to sort that out.”

Hallett, who knows Stewart well, says: ”Whether that is a reflection on us or on them I am not entirely sure. They haven’t had the best of starts, but, watching some of their games, they have been unlucky. We will see what side turns up on Saturday, but we treat each team with due respect.

“Their set piece is good and they are very good up front. They lost a few players over the summer, which is perhaps why they haven’t kicked on from last year, but they still play some good stuff.

“Essentially, we want to preserve our home record. Every time we come out and play we know people are trying to knock us off our perch.”

Albion face a tough series of matches at the end of the month when they make the long trip north to league leaders Darlington Mowden Park before playing Rosslyn Park, Ampthill and Coventry in November.

Hallett is not looking that far ahead: “We are trying to go out and win every game. It is not a case of looking to future games, it’s asking what we need to do to beat the team that’s in front of us.”

Plymouth Albion team to face Cambridge at the Brickfields on Saturday, October 7, (KO 3pm):

15 Jordan Gott, 14 Matt Crosscombe, 13 Setareki Raumakita, 12 Dean Squire, 11 Jack Arnott, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Cameron Setter, 1 Luke Chapman, 2 Jamie Salter, 3 Marcus Street, 4 Dan Swain, 5 Dan Collier, 6 Sean Lonsdale, 7 Sam Daly, 8 Eoghan Grace

Replacements

Herbie Stupple, Rupert Freestone, Matthew Shepherd, Joe Snow, Dan Pullinger.