Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Dawe hopes his Albion team can prove Ampthill defeat was a ‘blip’


Graham DaweGRAHAM DAWE has challenged his players to prove last week’s heavy defeat at Ampthill was just a ‘blip’.

Albion crashed 52-13 in Bedfordshire in their first match since the club gave notice of their intention to go into administration.

It was their first defeat since January and their first on the road for nearly five months.

Plymouth’s cause was not helped by arriving later than planned for the game due to the closure of the M1 and losing four players with injury during it.

Dawe wants his young side to bounce back when they host relegation-threatened Wharfedale at Brickfields on Saturday in National One (3pm).

It is Albion’s penultimate home match of the season.

“We certainly think last week was a blip,” said Dawe, whose team sit fifth in the table. “But we are not going to achieve a win this week by talking about it, we have to put words into action.

“We have to start the game well, get our components – set-piece, defence and offensive game – right and hopefully build pressure on them.”

He added: “I think we have certainly got last weekend out of our system. We have talked about it and discussed various points.

“We stressed that for 16 minutes we were in control but then we gave them field position and they got a couple of controversial tries that meant the scoreboard was not looking very rosy at half-time.”

Dawe says it has not been hard to pick his side up, despite last week’s defeat and the turmoil going on at Brickfields.

“They are a pretty enthusiastic bunch anyway,” said Dawe. “They love playing here at Brickfields and love the interaction with the crowd and the buzz it gives them. I would like to think they are raring to go.”

Wharfedale will arrive in Plymouth knowing they need a win to realistically have any hope of staying up.

If they were to lose they could find themselves 14 points away from safety with just 15 to play for.

”We have really stressed to the players that they are fighting for survival in this division and that Wharfedale pushed Richmond to the edge last week (losing 22-21),” said Dawe. “They should have kicked a penalty instead of running it against Richmond.

“Also, they are going to look at our scoreboard at Ampthill and that’s going to give them an extra fillip as well.”

Albion have been handed an unexpected boost with both James Penman and Ed Holmes recovering from serious looking ankle injuries. Harrison Cully is also fit, but scrum-half Cameron Setter has failed to recover from an ankle injury that forced him off after 15 minutes against Ampthill.

His absence means 18-year-old Tom Putt comes in at full-back for his first start since November and Matt Shepherd, Albion’s hero against Wharfedale in December, reverts to scrum-half.

Ollie Dawe returns at loose-head prop, with Dan Pullinger dropping to the bench. Rupert Freestone is still away with the England Students squad, while captain Jake Murphy and Elliot Bale are still out injured.


15 Tom Putt

14 Harrison Cully

13 Tom Bedford

12 Marc Koteczky

11 Robin Wedlake

10 Billy Searle

9 Matt Shepherd

1 Ollie Dawe

2 James Penman

3 Christian Judge

4 Dan Collier

5 Ed Holmes

6 Nile Dacres

7 Sam Matavesi

8 Herbie Stupple (capt).

Reps (from): Dan Pullinger, Gregory Sebastien, Andy Chesters, Cameron Thompson, Jon Dawe, Seti Raumakita.

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