GRAHAM DAWE has told Plymouth Albion’s players they have to believe they can cause a major upset and beat Championship leaders Bristol at Brickfields on Saturday (3pm).
Albion, seven points adrift at the foot of the table, will be relegated this weekend if they fail to overcome Andy Robinson’s team and Moseley beat Bedford at Goldington Road.
Dawe, who is in charge of the team for the first time since November 2011 following head coach James Shanahan’s departure last week, hopes it will not come to that.
He wants the Albion players to take heart from the fact that the Cornish Pirates have overcome Bristol this season in the league and Doncaster also beat them in the cup.
“No team is invincible,” said Dawe. “A team that dominate set pieces and get penalties can control matters. Even the best teams in the world are different animals on the back foot.”
When asked if the Albion players felt under pressure ahead of this weekend, Dawe said: “I’m sure they do, but all the coaches have spoken to them and we totally believe we can win this game.
“That is our focus. We have to try and get into the Bristol defence, try and disrupt their set-piece game and just try and identify where their threats are going to come from.”
Albion have already been beaten heavily by Bristol twice in the last eight months. They lost 55-18 on New Year’s Day at Ashton Gate in the league, while a Bristol XV overcame Albion 46-17 at Brickfields at the end of August in a pre-season match.
Plymouth have also not triumphed over the former Premiership club since March 2005.
However, Dawe, who will come up against his former Bath team-mate Andy Robinson for the first time in a competitive match on Saturday, has no intention of looking at past results. He is just focused on this match. Not even Moseley’s game at Bedford interests him.
“We can’t do anything about that,” he said. “We just have to concentrate on what we can do.
“We are just looking forward to a pretty intense weekend of rugby.
“It is just a case of picking 22 players who can carry us over the line.”
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