Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Albion captain Murphy insists win meant more than his hat-trick

Jake MurphyPLYMOUTH Albion’s hat-trick hero Jake Murphy insisted getting a bonus point home win over Coventry on Saturday meant more than his own try-scoring exploits.

Murphy claimed his first-ever league hat-trick as Albion beat the Midlands club 29-18 at Brickfields.

The former St Boniface School pupil crossed twice in the first half and once in the second to double this tally for the season.

“It was a bit of a shock,” said the Albion captain. “I don’t usually go near the try-line, to be fair.”

He added: “It is lovely to get over the try-line, but more importantly it was about putting a statement down about how we can play at home.

“It is fantastic to go away from home and win, but I said to the boys ‘you need to take the pressure on about playing at home and that you are expected to win’ and they really bought into that.

“It is nice individually to get over, but it would not have mattered at all had we lost that game.

“To get five points is brilliant.”

Murphy, who in eight season at Launceston never managed more than four tries in a campaign, was impressed with the whole work-rate of the Albion team against Coventry.

“You could see from minute one we were enthusiastic,” he said. “The pressure the boys put on allowed me to reap the rewards. It is always the try scorer that gets the plaudits but it was most definitely a team effort.”

Murphy suffered an injury in early December that ruled him out of the games against Loughborough Students and Hartpury College.

And when he was fit he then had to be patient, despite being captain. He didn’t feature against Rosslyn Park and was only on the bench for the home game against Hull Ionians, but he returned to the team for last week’s trip to Fylde.

Murphy said the fact that nobody is guaranteed a place in the team, is keeping everyone at Albion on their toes.

“I think that’s why you are seeing the performances you are because nobody is guaranteed a shirt this year, bar maybe Nile Dacres,” laughed Murphy. “A special mention to Nile who has played every minute of every game, which is a credit to him.

“But for me, it was really frustrating to pick up that injury, especially in training, however the boys kicked on fantastically and went on that long run.

“There was a bit of self-worry that I would struggle to get back in. You feel that pressure and you feel you need to put out a statement that you deserve to wear that shirt.

“But that’s good as it makes you play better.”

Albion’s win over Coventry was their seventh in eight games. It was also the second week running the team had scored five tries.

“The win was the most important thing,” said Murphy. “But to get five points is brilliant yet we’ll go back to the drawing board this week as there’s a couple of things we need to look at. “We want to go up to Esher and, hopefully, continue this run.”

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