'Stoke determined to learn from mistakes as they face strugglers

Basingstoke Gazette: Basingstoke RFC director of rugby James Croker. Basingstoke RFC director of rugby James Croker.

BASINGSTOKE RFC director of rugby James Croker says that his side’s shock defeat in the Hampshire Cup will stand them in good stead when it comes to hosting London One South strugglers Old Colfeians on Saturday.

The Down Grange club crashed out of the county cup two weeks ago, losing 20-17 to lower league outfit Winchester – but Croker is hoping to turn that experience into a positive this weekend.

’Stoke host bottom-of-the-table Old Colfeians, who have lost all 11 league games they have played so far this season, at Down Grange on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

On paper, it should be a comfortable afternoon for third-placed Basingstoke, who have won their last seven league games. However, the same could have been said about the Winchester game and Croker says his side must learn from the mistakes they made that day.

“Old Colfeians may be without a win at the bottom of the table but I think that the experience we got in the game against Winchester is great preparation for this week,” the Basingstoke boss said. “We have got to show them respect and get it right if we want to win.

“I do not know anything about them so we will just have to concentrate on ourselves. It will not be a walkover but we have got a good record in these sort of games, especially at our place, and we are all looking forward to it.”

Last week’s 16-10 victory over Sidcup means Basingstoke are now just four points behind second-placed Chichester, who lost 45-10 at East Grinstead.

A lot of emphasis had been placed on those games – but Croker is determined to make sure his side concentrate just as hard against lowly Old Colfeians.

“We did well against Sidcup last week but it’s important that we refocus and make sure we put in a performance again,” he said. “I am confident that we will get it right though.

“It is tight at the top now and that’s down to good work by everyone on Saturday. We closed out the game when we needed to and got the win, which was what we wanted.”

In addition to injured quartet Gareth Kelly, Adam Davies, Simon Appleby and Matt Guilfoyle, Croker will have to do without flanker Matt Horne and winger Gavin Dampies, who are unavailable due to work commitments this week.

Comments (5)

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1:36pm Thu 22 Nov 12

avg3 says...

Croke's noooooo got done at the Fortress in the Cup. Whats going on ?
Bet Junior was not happy. There is always next year, now time to spend all your time looking at the league and tie up that 3rd spot.Question having lost at home in the cup, is it still a Fortress, or does cup games not count ?
Croke's noooooo got done at the Fortress in the Cup. Whats going on ? Bet Junior was not happy. There is always next year, now time to spend all your time looking at the league and tie up that 3rd spot.Question having lost at home in the cup, is it still a Fortress, or does cup games not count ? avg3
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Will Croker says...

With a weakend team we got 20 points closer than Chi did against EG. Gap down to 4 with Chi having a tricky away game at Hove pre Christmas. It's game on. Fancy coming to watch Mr AVeraGe? My offer is still open
With a weakend team we got 20 points closer than Chi did against EG. Gap down to 4 with Chi having a tricky away game at Hove pre Christmas. It's game on. Fancy coming to watch Mr AVeraGe? My offer is still open Will Croker
  • Score: 0

10:32am Fri 23 Nov 12

avg3 says...

No worries fella, will catch you sooner than you think.Dont slip up at the Dons!
And please dont give it the old weakened team rubbish. Mate every club is in the same boat, everybody has injuries everybody has people away. It is called the 1st xv for one reason , it is the best xv that the club can field on any given day. So please dont ever use the weakened xv mate, i thought you were better than that Junior! It also gives no respect to people that you bring up from the 2s.
No worries fella, will catch you sooner than you think.Dont slip up at the Dons! And please dont give it the old weakened team rubbish. Mate every club is in the same boat, everybody has injuries everybody has people away. It is called the 1st xv for one reason , it is the best xv that the club can field on any given day. So please dont ever use the weakened xv mate, i thought you were better than that Junior! It also gives no respect to people that you bring up from the 2s. avg3
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Fri 23 Nov 12

chaz47 says...

avg3 wrote:
Croke's noooooo got done at the Fortress in the Cup. Whats going on ?
Bet Junior was not happy. There is always next year, now time to spend all your time looking at the league and tie up that 3rd spot.Question having lost at home in the cup, is it still a Fortress, or does cup games not count ?
G or the 'G Force' are a different class to anyoe else in is league, so it would appear a 3 horse race for 2nd place.
Chi gave the force a real fright on their own patch and it wasnt until the last quarter that they showed their superior fitness. Apparently they train 3 times a week in the gym so are well ripped.
Hove,Dons,Sidcup and other mid league teams will hold the key to the r/up spot....hope everyone enjoys the ride!
[quote][p][bold]avg3[/bold] wrote: Croke's noooooo got done at the Fortress in the Cup. Whats going on ? Bet Junior was not happy. There is always next year, now time to spend all your time looking at the league and tie up that 3rd spot.Question having lost at home in the cup, is it still a Fortress, or does cup games not count ?[/p][/quote]G or the 'G Force' are a different class to anyoe else in is league, so it would appear a 3 horse race for 2nd place. Chi gave the force a real fright on their own patch and it wasnt until the last quarter that they showed their superior fitness. Apparently they train 3 times a week in the gym so are well ripped. Hove,Dons,Sidcup and other mid league teams will hold the key to the r/up spot....hope everyone enjoys the ride! chaz47
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Will Croker says...

Hey, I am not running anyone down, you re right you can only pick from what's available. But to not have your skipper, your talismanic lock, your grafting 6, your first choice 13 and last seasons top try scorer is a tough pill to swallow. Not only that but we still got closer to EG than anyone and they scored a length of the pitch intercept which had the winger missed would have resulted in a try for stoke. So conversely it is great credit to the team available that we got so close. See you soon old bean. Be sure to say hello. A pint is waiting.
Hey, I am not running anyone down, you re right you can only pick from what's available. But to not have your skipper, your talismanic lock, your grafting 6, your first choice 13 and last seasons top try scorer is a tough pill to swallow. Not only that but we still got closer to EG than anyone and they scored a length of the pitch intercept which had the winger missed would have resulted in a try for stoke. So conversely it is great credit to the team available that we got so close. See you soon old bean. Be sure to say hello. A pint is waiting. Will Croker
  • Score: 0

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