RUGBY: ‘We must keep focus’ says Bann boss

Banbridge Rugby Club are still in contention for promotion to Division 1B in the All Ireland League. They host Dublin side Seapoint on Saturday and Head Coach Daniel Soper is warning his lads not to lose focus. INBL1504-256pb
Banbridge Rugby Club are still in contention for promotion to Division 1B in the All Ireland League. They host Dublin side Seapoint on Saturday and Head Coach Daniel Soper is warning his lads not to lose focus. INBL1504-256pb

Banbridge Head Coach Daniel Soper is demanding that his side go into this weekend’s fixture with full focus.

After two key All Ireland League victories, they go into Saturday’s game just six points off the promotion places.

And when third-bottom Seapoint visit Rifle Park (kick-off 2.30pm), Bann will know it’s a big opportunity to pick up maximum points.

Soper, however, isn’t taking the challenge lightly.

“We have been in this position before with a lot of games left against the teams below us and we think we can win them but then slip up,” he warned.

“Hopefully this time we can get ourselves focused and get a result to keep the interest going.

“We will just set out to win the game and if we need to chase scores (for a bonus point) late in the game we will maybe change the tactics.”

Four of Bann’s final five Division 2A games are against teams currently below them in the league table. Should Bann pick up a healthy return from those matches, the final fixture against runaway leaders Wesley OB could be absolutely huge.

“If we went into that last game with something on the line, it would be a dream but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then,” said Soper.

“There are still five games to play and if we start to look too far ahead, that’s when we will lose a game like this one.

“We’ll concentrate on each game and the league table takes care of itself. We’re just be doing our best to win against Seapoint.”

Banbridge went down to Belfast Harlequins in the Ulster Senior League last weekend but a win on Saturday and that result with pale into insignificance.

“We should be a lot stronger this weekend,” he said. “We rested a few guys who weren’t 100% so they’ll be back in. Chris Allen is touch and go whether he’ll play but we will have our captain Jonny Graham back in.

“We had a lot of players not available last Saturday so the team wasn’t close to being at full strength.

“At 12-7 down, we had a good chance to score and take the lead but we missed it and that was that. Our focus is all on the All Ireland League.”