Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Dawe hopes Christmas break will have helped Albion’s injury worries

Graham DaweGRAHAM DAWE is hoping a week off will have helped some of his Plymouth Albion players recover from injuries and knocks.

In-form Albion went into their last match against Hartpury College on December 19 without captain Jake Murphy, hooker James Penman, lock Dan Collier, prop Ollie Dawe, flanker Cameron Thompson and full-back Tom Putt due to injuries.

Dawe is hopeful at least some of them will be able to return to training on Monday.

“I suspect we won’t see James Penman or Tom Putt, but we are hopeful we will see the others in training on Monday or at least by Wednesday,” said the Albion boss.

Albion have won their last four National One matches and Dawe is hoping his team will not have lost their focus over the Christmas break.

Plymouth, without a festive fixture this year, will be back in action on January 2 when they travel to last season’s runners-up Rosslyn Park, who beat Albion by just a single point at Brickfields in the second match of the campaign.

“I would imagine most clubs in this division built a week off into their schedule over Christmas,” said Dawe.

“Our players were given a programme to stick to. They had to put in at least five sessions and you’d like to think they would have put in a few more on their own back.”

Albion finished the halfway point of the season in sixth place with nine wins and six defeats to their name.

Four of those losses came in the first six weeks as Albion’s young new-look squad adapted to each other and life in National One.

Plymouth may be at the halfway point of their season but boss Dawe does not think it is time to reflect.

“Emotions are for Saturday afternoons not for reflection halfway through a season,” said Dawe. “I prefer not to reflect on the happenings so far.

“What’s happened has happened. I’ll reflect on a season’s work at the end of the season.”

However, when asked for his hopes for the second half of the campaign, Dawe said: “To have some continued luck – stay free from too many injuries – and for the squad to continue their togetherness, bonding and goal setting.”

The way Albion have finished 2015 has been encouraging, but Dawe says it is down to the players to see if they can continue that form in 2016.

“It depends on the players – how they set the standards at training and on Saturdays,” he said. “It is up to the players to have that discipline and desire to drive those standards perhaps even a tad higher or at least maintain them and to enjoy each other’s company and to enjoying pulling on an Albion shirt against anyone in the country.”

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