Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Stupple knows Albion will have to be on their guard against Darlington

Herbie StuppleHERBIE STUPPLE feels in-form Plymouth Albion will have to be on their guard on Saturday when a host of former players return to Brickfields.

Albion welcome ambitious Darlington Mowden Park to the city for the first time this weekend.

Although the two teams have never met before, Darlington will know all about Albion with five ex-Plymouth players in their squad.

Tom Harrison, Tom Jubb, Jake Henry, Peter Homan and Alistair Bone all swapped Brickfields for the Northern Echo Arena in the summer.

Albion have already seen one former player inspire their new team to victory at Brickfields this season, with Paul Roberts pulling the strings for Esher, and they don’t want it to happen again.

Stupple, who played with all Darlington’s former Albion quintet last season, said: “It will be a difficult one with all the old Albion players they have.

“It will be good to see them and see what they can bring to their team.

“They will probably want to edge out everyone else a bit, but we can’t worry about that too much. We have to focus on the things we are doing well.

“We have been doing very well and it would be nice to carry that on and keep building on things.”

Albion have claimed three bonus points wins in a row since their setback against Esher on October 10.

Stupple, who will celebrate his 25th birthday on Monday, said: “I think you can tell we are getting better each week because we keep getting these five pointers. Hopefully, we can carry that on.

“Defensively we have been so much better. We showed that last week not letting them (Henley) get any tries. We are just going to keep working on those same things and not worry about what they (Darlington) are going to do.”

Mowden Park have not had the best of starts to the season and sit in 13th spot but with so many proven Championship players in their squad, like former Rotherham star Garry Law, ex-Doncaster scrum-half Bruno Bravo, former Bedford prop Darren Fearn and the Albion old boys, Stupple knows they cannot afford to take them lightly.

Darlington, who are flying down to Devon on Friday morning, also have Newcastle hooker Santiago Socino and former Falcons and Edinburgh star Michael Tait in their squad.

“The league is difficult and everyone is beating everyone,” said Stupple.

“You can’t take league position into account, especially with the players they’ve got. They are going to be good, but it all about us now.”


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