Josh Bartlett - five tries run him into the frame
NEWBURY BLUES are looking for a quick return to winning ways and a return to the top two spots in South West One East when they entertain leaders Maidenhead at Monks Lane on Saturday.
Last week’s 19-18 defeat at Grove, where Blues played most of the game with 14 men following the dismissal of Ryan Davis, saw them slip to fourth in the table, five points behind the leaders.
But a bonus point win on Saturday could haul them over their rivals, dependant upon other results, and that is the aim as Blues face a game described as “pivotal” by head coach Lee Goodall.
“If we win, it will chuck the league back open,” said Goodall, “and if we lose, they are not exactly champions-elect after week eight, but certainly puts them in the driving seat and puts us further down the pecking order.”
Blues have been on top form in training as Goodall and his coaches run their eyes over 30 players vying to play. Davis is definitely out following his red card,and Blues are also without fellow back rowers Ollie Spanswick and Chris Guyatt, although Alex Millar successfully came through a third XV run-out last week.
Goodall may also look to give Josh Bartlett a run-out, and after he marked his return from injury to running in five tries for the Stags in their win over Redingensians last week.