BASINGSTOKE RFC director of rugby James Croker believes victory at Westcombe Park will all but end the club’s relegation worries.
Croker said: “I think a win will mean we can forget about going down. It will be another brick in the wall for safety.
“If we lose it is not going to be a massive blow, but it will mean the pressure will be on us in other games.”
’Stoke currently have a six-point cushion over Barnes, who sit in the final relegation place.
Croker said: “I think three wins from our final eight games will be enough for us, when you take a look at the games Barnes have left to play.”
’Stoke will travel to Orpington-based Westcombe Park looking to repeat the victory they enjoyed in October against their Kent rivals at Down Grange.
On that day, ’Stoke ran in five tries in a 40-8 victory, having led 23-0 at half-time.
Croker said: “We beat them last time as we played at a decent tempo all game and we will look to do this again.
“They will be out to right some wrongs from last time and with all the rain predicted it could well end up a battle – which we are ready for.”
The game will see the visitors give a debut to a new scrum-half Alex Kane who has played for Newbury and Andover in the past.
Back row Ryan Davis and winger Karl Buttle are both hoping to be back from injury, while back row Steve Hicks misses the trip to Kent.