Plymouth Albion Face Loughborough Students

Samuel Holmes of Plymouth Albion breaks for the line during the match between Plymouth Albion v Fylde RFC at the Brickfields Recreation Ground, on September 23rd 2017, Plymouth, Devon, UK. PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

Plymouth Albion head north this Saturday, September 30, for their National League One fixture against Loughborough Students at the University Stadium (KO 3pm).

Albion will be looking to assert their authority after last week’s emphatic 68-15 win over bottom of the table Fylde.

Head coach Kieran Hallett was pleased with the team’s performance: “I was pretty happy. We knew they were a bit under strength but we still went out and performed really well. What pleased me most was we stuck to task and stayed in our systems. Defensively we were still flying off the line and trying to make shots so that was really pleasing.”

It was the overall team performance that impressed Hallett the most. He says: “We are not relying on one or two individuals, literally everybody contributes which is fantastic and if we can do that every week we are going to pose some big threats.”

Last week’s win moved Albion into third in the National League One table, but Hallett isn’t paying much attention to that. He says: “Until everybody’s played everybody then the league is a bit deceiving. The best thing at the moment is that we’ve improved week on week.

“Having said that, there are still a lot of areas where we can get better. We are by no means the finished article but we have been getting consistently better which is really pleasing.”

On Loughborough, who have had a difficult start to the season, winning only one of their first four games, Hallett says: “You always expect high energy from a students’ team. They have been a bit unlucky with results so far, but there are a whole new set of challenges this weekend. We will leave very early on Saturday morning and then play on a 3G pitch which is not always easy. Those are those kind of factors we have to contend with.

“Loughborough are well coached and well drilled and at the moment we are there to be shot at, so it won’t be an easy game.

“And, while a 3G pitch doesn’t change a vast amount, it feels a bit different. Some guys like it, some guys don’t. The ball sits up more if it bounces, but other than that there’s not too much in it.”

With a number of injured players on their way back to full fitness, including second row Dan Collier, centre Dean Squire and full back Dan Powell, Hallett is content with the depth of his squad. He adds: “We have got pretty much the same Exeter players as we had last week. I thought Sean Lonsdale delivered off the bench and Marcus Street performed very well on his first start.

“We are changing things up again and trying to keep the boys fresh if we can.”

Plymouth Albion team to face Loughborough Students at the University Stadium on Saturday, September 30, (KO 3pm):

15 Matthew Shepherd, 14 Matt Crosscombe, 13 Setareki Raumakita, 12 Harvey Skinner, 11 Jack Arnott, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Cameron Setter, 1 William Norton, 2 Jamie Salter, 3 Dan Pullinger, 4 Dan Swain, 5 Sean Lonsdale, 6 Ed Holmes, 7 Sam Daly, 8 Herbie Stupple

Replacements

George Mills, Rupert Freestone, Jordan Gott, Joe Snow, Jack Owlett.