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Blues face a mighty task

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Monks Lane challenge against leaders who ran in 18 tries in the last meeting between the teams

NEWBURY BLUES face the task of taking on a Bournemouth side that shovelled 112 points through Blues leaky defence earlier in the season when the sides meet at Monks Lane on Saturday.

League leaders Bournemouth ran in 18 tries in that game in October and Blues know that they face a testing task in this return.

"This one has been at the back of our minds since that game," said director of rugby Andy Widdop. "We've tried to ignore it, but it's here now and I think this is a game we have just got to get out of the way.

"They put a lot of points on us down there and I'm sure they will be aiming to do the same."

Widdop was pleased with the way his side stood up at Barnstaple last week, again with depleted resources and unable to put out a full bench of substitutes.

"We all knew it was going to be backs to the wall, but we defended like dogs," said Widdop. "I know we can show the same spirit this week."

He has to do without Paul Jones, and is hoping that Alex Ashburner, Sam Vine and Tom Erskine will be available to stiffen up the ranks.

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