Rugby returns to the Brickfields this Saturday, September 9, when Plymouth Albion kick off their first home game of the season against Esher (KO 3pm).
The two National League One sides had contrasting fortunes in their opening games last weekend. Albion suffered a last gasp 32-31 defeat at Blackheath while Esher triumphed 39-14 at home over newly-promoted Old Elthamians.
Albion will be keen to move on from their unfortunate result at Blackheath.
Back row forward Eoghan Grace, who recently returned to the club from Coventry, says: “ It was disappointing all round but, on the positive side, we showed a bit of hunger and character to get from where we were after 15 minutes to actually being ahead at half time.
“The second half was up and down and then there was the penalty decision at the end when we’d done the hard graft to get back ahead. It was an unfortunate read and he nailed the kick. It was one of those days.
“But it’s a new week. We started on Monday and we just get on with it. We have to park last week and move forward.”
Grace, 29, says the team is looking forward to their first home fixture.
“We’re excited about playing in front of our fans and putting on the kind of performance that we do best. We’ve got a good arsenal, players who can make stuff happen and coaches behind us who have put us in good stead to advance.
“Last week we performed well in patches and showed that when we get it right we have the ability to really get it right!”
Plymouth Albion are hoping for a big home crowd for the fixture, designated as a special family day in partnership with Babcock. A fun afternoon is planned involving hands-on activities, face painting, bouncy castles, rugby skills and even free ice-cream and crisps, courtesy of Yeo Valley and Burts Chips.
Grace, who is also helping the club off the field in a schools and community role, says: “It’s huge for everyone involved. The boys want to be out there playing in front of big numbers.”
While Albion were victorious against Esher in both of last season’s league fixtures, Grace isn’t taking anything for granted.
“They’re a good team that play a physical brand of rugby. They’ve got powerful backs who can do the business out wide. On their day they are just as tough as any other team.”
Grace is expecting the league to be a tightly-fought contest.
“I’ve always thought this would not be a runaway Hartpury year for some team, it’s going to be a lot tighter. There are a bunch of teams that have got a good chance.”
Two former Albion players currently on Esher’s books and likely to feature on Saturday are prop forward Cameron Zeiss and fly half Paul Roberts.
Albion’s first home fixture – and Family Day – takes place this Saturday, September 9, vs Esher at the Brickfields (KO 3pm). Entry is from £15 (under 16s free) and a special £20 family ticket is available before 2pm (admits two adults and two children).