Leicester are one of those teams who are capable of causing an upset: we have to make sure that we aren’t one of those casualties.
Saturday’s fixture at Harrogate may have fallen foul of the weather, but life carries on. Head Coach and Director of Rugby, Geoff Wappett, used the spare time constructively and went to check out fellow title contenders, Stourbridge. They eased to a comfortable win over injury-hit local rivals, Sedgley Park, in what turned out to be a very one-sided affair. Still, preparations for Stourbridge’s visit to Priory Park will have wait: all thoughts are now focused on the weekend and the visit of Leicester Lions. Leicester have been strong at home, but have proved to be a little inconsistent on their travels. What sort of Leicester Lions outfit will show up at Priory Park this weekend? Well, here are Geoff’s thoughts.
How did the players react to the weekend’s match postponement?
“Well, naturally they were disappointed that the game didn’t go ahead, but it gave them a weekend to rest up. It’s frustrating of course, but it’s just one of those things. We played the last 3 or 4 games in the wet and have been getting quite adept at this sort of trench warfare rugby, but you just have to put the disappointment behind you and move on. The good news for us is that we’ve got a free weekend on the 22 of this month so we’ll be able to play Harrogate then. Also Darlington didn’t manage to get a bonus point at the weekend, so should we win our postponed game comfortably then it will be all-square at the top of the league.”
“The postponement also meant that I got the opportunity to go and watch Stourbridge play against Sedgley. It’s always good to keep an eye on the form of your nearest rivals, especially when they’re due to visit us shortly. Unfortunately Sedgley had a number of players missing with injuries and couldn’t really compete on the day. I was hoping they might have been able to push Stourbridge all the way and nick a point off them, but sadly that wasn’t the case. Still it was a useful scouting trip none the less.”
Leicester Lions have been inconsistent on the road this season, what sort of game are you expecting when they visit Priory Park this weekend?
“Well, it’s difficult to say. They lost what appeared to be a close game at Chester this weekend, so you can’t draw many conclusions from that. Leicester are a difficult team to pin down. Their home form is good, but their away from is not that good. They got a very good win over Sedgley the previous week, but showed their inconsistency by not taking that form into the Chester game. We beat them comprehensively when we travelled down there in October – 46 -20. We played really well then and I’m hoping we can put in a similar type of performance at the weekend. That’s what all our preparations will be geared towards.”
Are the Blues confident going into the match?
“Well, you don’t want to appear complacent or overconfident, but I’d say we’re confident going into the game. I’m confident in our abilities and common sense tells us that we’re in the driving seat if we shape up. They’ve got a strong pack of forwards and a decent scrummage, but I think if we’re on top of our game we should be able to command the ball. If we do that then we should control the game.”
“When we last played Leicester we found the first half an hour tough, but we were able to maintain our levels of intensity for the whole match whereas Leicester tailed off. But Leicester are the type of team that can do damage on a good day, so we’ll definitely be preparing ourselves so that if the very-good Leicester Lions turn up at the weekend we’ll be ready. Leicester are one of those teams who are capable of causing an upset. What we have to do is make sure that we aren’t one of those casualties.”