Barnstaple targeting points on the road
- Credit: Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club
Barnstaple coach Bryn Jenkins believes it won’t be long before the team starts picking-up real points away from home in National Two South.
Barum came away from a 15-9 defeat at Bury St Edmunds with a losing bonus point, which was their first reward on the road this season.
Home wins are going to be the mainstay of Barum’s strategy this season to finish high enough in the table to avoid being re-organised at a lower level in the reshuffle due at the end of the season. How high has not been decided yet by the RFU.
Jenkins said the manner of the defeat up in Suffolk was proof Barnstaple are not far away from winning away from Pottington Road.
“Dan Lee took over as captain on Saturday and said in the dressing room before the game that we cannot afford to become a ‘50 per cent’ side,” said Jenkins.
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“What he meant by that is there are points to be had away from home and we need to start bringing some back.
“I cannot really fault how we played at Bury St Edmunds. We showed a desire and a will to defend that stifled their pace outside, something we struggled with at Esher and Clifton.
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“Bury came hard at us and that suits us to a tee. For the last five minutes they were down on our line and we kept them out. That was massive for us and showed the growing team spirit in the squad.
“Had it not been for a couple of silly mistakes that cost us the game, it could have finished differently.
“We were ahead for a fair part of the game and it was frustrating that we let it go as Bury would have been a big scalp for us.”
Jenkins said the players are getting to grips with the need to avoid coming home empty handed as every point counts.
“Away from home our number one target has to be a win and if we can’t get that we have to look for losing bonus points and try bonus points,” said Jenkins.
Luke Berry, who was standing in at stand-off due to injuries in the squad, landed three penalties for Barnstaple.
Barum are back at Pottington Road this Saturday for the visit of Canterbury. Skipper Winston James is available for selection again after serving a suspension, but is unlikely to play.
“Winston has picked-up a back injury and it could be two or three weeks longer before he is back in action,” said Jenkins.
Half-back Kyran McManus (ribs) is also on the injury list for a week or two. Player-coach Jake Murphy, who missed the trip to Suffolk, is available for selection.