Plymouth Albion face Hull Ionians at Brickfields today (Saturday, December 2, KO 3pm) for their National League One fixture.
The two sides had contrasting fortunes last weekend. Albion lost to league leaders Coventry 29-14, while Hull scored an impressive home victory over Old Elthamians 27-11.
Albion fly half Dan Mugford said: “We started slowly and gave them a lead but fought really well to get back. We kept hold of the ball and got a couple of tries going into half time.
“Unfortunately in the second half we didn’t sustain the pressure so it kept coming back on to us. We cracked and let them get a couple of tries in and then it was a big hill to climb.”
Mugford says the team will be keen to move on from the defeat: “We’ve looked at where we could improve and hopefully we will see a backlash. We did cause them problems so we can take positives from that.”
The former Sale Shark says the squad is looking forward to putting in a good performance against Hull: “We don’t want to look too far ahead. Coventry are unbeaten but there are plenty of games left in the season. We will take it a week at a time and just try and get out today and get a result.
“We will park the disappointment of the game, learn the lessons and move forward with real hunger and ambition.”
Hull Ionians travel to Devon in eleventh place in the league, but Mugford says they are not to be underestimated: “They have been on a good run and picked up some results. They will come here after our loss to Coventry trying to get a scalp. They are a team on the up and they will smell blood. We know we have got to be up for another good physical encounter and right on our mettle.”
Hull have benefited from the loan of Championship centre Mat Clark from Doncaster Knights and Mugford says the National League One player of the week brings a lot to the Yorkshire side: “Mat is a really good player, but I don’t think looking at an individual is what’s needed. If we deal with them as a team and look after ourselves we have got plenty of threats across the board, so hopefully can come out on top.”
Mugford admits Albion – unbeaten at Brickfields since December 2016 – are eager to preserve their home record: “We really want the support to keep growing in the city. We want this place to be a fortress, somewhere people will come and enjoy watching us play and be part of that success.”
He is keen to recognise the efforts of his friend Eoghan Grace who celebrates 50 Albion games at today’s fixture: “Gracey led from the front and was absolutely outstanding at Coventry. He holds the club very close to his heart so it’s brilliant that he’s knocked up the fifty games and hopefully he will get a few more.”
Plymouth Albion team to face Hull Ionians at Brickfields on Saturday, December 2 (KO 3pm).
15 Matt Shepherd, 14 Jack Arnott, 13 Dean Squire, 12 Harvey Skinner, 11 Setareki Raumakita, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Cameron Setter, 1 Luke Chapman, 2 Jamie Salter, 3 Marcus Street, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 5 Dan Collier, 6 George Mills, 7 Sam Daly, 8 Eoghan Grace (Captain)
16 Jack Owlett, 17 Rupert Freestone, 18, Dan Swain, 19 Tom Hendrickson, 20 Joe Snow