Plymouth Albion / Rugby

National One rivals will be keen to claim Albion scalp, says Dawe

Graham DaweGRAHAM DAWE feels his Plymouth Albion team will be a target for other sides in National One.

Albion begin life in English rugby’s third tier on Saturday when they welcome Richmond to Brickfields (3pm).

For the past 13 years Albion have been plying their trade in the Championships and for a spell were pushing on the door of the Premiership.

Dawe believes as the team coming down from the league above all the other sides in the division will be keen to beat them.

“I think we are certainly a relatively good block to try and knock off, aren’t we?” said Dawe.

“I’m sure people want to go for an ex-Championships side. Beating us would be a feather in the cap for most teams.

“Other clubs will think it is great to have a crack at us. It will be an added one per cent for opposition teams when we turn up at their ground or they turn up at ours.

“But it can work both ways. Maybe they might try too hard sometimes.”

Dawe has refused to publicly say what the club’s targets are this season. He appears keen to avoid putting too much pressure on a young team, who only came together two months ago.

“The goals that we set ourselves are achievable goals,” he said. “We want to be satisfied with our efforts, intensity and emotion at the end of every game.

“I’m sure everybody has their own views on what they see as Albion’s realistic goals.

“But the targets that we set are for the four walls of our changing room. We will adjust, re-set and analysis as we go on.

“It is a very tough league, but everyone in every league will say it is tough, whether that Devon One or National One.”

When asked if he was confident his young team can handle the pressure of the league, Dawe said: “I don’t think it’s about being confident, it’s about being realistic.

“We have prepared physically as best we possibly can in the timescale we’ve had.

“We know we are not blessed with loads of experience, but we do have some experienced players in the likes Herbie Stupple, Marc Koteczky, Ethan Ford, Tom Bedford and Dan Collier.

“Almost a third of the team are tried and tested in the higher division. The other two-thirds have to aspire to get that experience through playing in this division.”

Albion’s opponents Richmond have not finished outside the top half of the table since their promotion into the league in 2012. The last two seasons they have finished seventh after a long road back up the rugby pyramid after going into administration in 1999.

“They can certainly play rugby,” said Dawe about Saturday’s opponents. “They have a good game-plan. They challenge at half-back and on the wings. They are going to be handful.”


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