NEWBURY BLUES take on newly promoted High Wycombe for the first time in recent seasons having given themselves the away start they were searching for at Trowbridge last week.
That 24-3 win mixed defence with sharp finishing, and Blues’ task now is to set out to make Monks Lane the fortress it needs to be if the club is to play its part in the upper reaches of South West One East this season.
“We’re looking for a first win at home,” said head coach Lee Goodall, “and hopefully a big crowd to carry on the good work from last week.”
Josh Bartlett caught the eye with his hat-trick of tries, and, said Goodall: “It was clinical finishing, but ultimately it was the defence that won us the game. We looked comforatble without the ball and that’s what we’ve been working on through the summer.”
Blues can expect a front line examination from the Wycombe pack after Wycombe were picked off by Maidenhead at the end of the seasonal opener last week.
“They were 14-0 up but lost it in the last minutes” said Goodall. “They have a big heavy pack that was out on its feet after 60 minutes and we need to be aware of that and try to give them the run-around if we can.”
Blues will have to shuffle last week’s winning side with flanker Ryan Davis joining Ryan Treviskas and Robbie Drysdale on the not available list.
But Ben O’Shea could be in line for his debut, also into the squad comes summer signing Andy Herriott from Salisbury.
“We will tweak the back row a bit as Ryan Davis will be missed,” said Goodall, whose staff will also be working on improving discipline that saw three yellow cards at Trowbridge.
Thatcham play their first league game of the season at Bicester on Saturday in Southern Counties North, while Tadley Tigers return to Berks, Bucks and Oxon Premier Division action at Alchester. Hungerford go to Gosford All Blacks in the same division and Aldermaston entertain Harwell in the BB and O Championship.