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Basingstoke RFC get set to take on league leaders Dorking
BASINGSTOKE RFC have their toughest away trip of the season on Saturday, as they head to National League Three London leaders Dorking for their final game of 2013.
’Stoke may be underdogs, but they will travel to Surrey looking to build on their positive performance against visiting Tonbridge Juddians last weekend.
The home side lost 35-31, but there were plenty of positives to come out of the game and director of rugby James Croker said: “Juddians are one of the top four teams in this division and a contender for promotion and we have matched them.
“I felt our pack dominated the game and we had some good passages of play. It was tough playing against the wind, but I felt we dealt with this well and I think we will have gained confidence from the game, even though we are all disappointed with the result.”
Now ’Stoke face the stiff test of Dorking and when the sides meet earlier in the season at Down Grange, Dorking were 36-8 winners.
However, the sides were level at half-time and the dismissal of Ryan Davis certainly helped the visitors after the break.
This was the second of 12 wins this campaign for Surrey side, but their 100 per cent record vanished last weekend, when they drew 20-20 in their top-of-the-table clash at Old Elthamians.
The leaders trailed 20-10 with seven minutes to play, but a converted try and a penalty deep in injury-time made sure the points were shared.
For the trip to Surrey, ’Stoke will be without captain Freddie Gleadowe and fly-half Adam Davies, who both suffered concussion in the defeat against Tonbridge. Gleadowe was injured late on, while Davies was replaced late in the first half.
On the plus side, fly-half Tom Humberstone is back from Loughborough University and some excellent performances in the A team have earned Ryan Trevaskis a call-up.
Looking ahead to the game Croker said: “We will go to Dorking with nothing to lose, but as we showed against Tonbridge we will hope to take some points from the game.”
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