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Basingstoke RFC heading in the right direction
BASINGSTOKE RFC director of rugby James Croker remains upbeat despite seeing his newly promoted side lose their opening two National Three London games of the season.
There was after a much improved performance against visiting Dorking last Saturday.
’Stoke led 8-3 with 20 minutes to go, but the dismissal of flanker Ryan Davis after a brawl plus other players carrying knocks saw the Surrey side take advantage and go on to win 38-8.
Croker said: “We are going in the right direction and it was only in the last 20 minutes things went against us.
“I think Ryan deserved a card, but not a red one. We will suspend him for two weeks and wait to see what the RFU hearing decides, but we will be supporting him as he never done anything like this before.”
This week it gets no easier for ’Stoke as they travel to Old Elthamians based in Chislehurst, Kent.
They are currently third in the early table after two wins and are a point just behind the leading two East Grinstead, opening day victors over ’Stoke, and Dorking.
Croker said: “Old Elthamians are a well coached side and have a very good line-up from which they build on.
“They have a very good number 10 and 15, but we played them a couple of years ago and we drew and lost to them.”
Once again Basingstoke will have players out for the trip as Davis is suspended and both Ash Paterson and Jamie Fish are unavailable, while there are lot of injuries in the props.
However, Croker is looking for no excuses and said: “We still have enough depth in this club to put out five teams this weekend and we will put out a solid 15 for this game.
“So of the players may not have played a lot at this level, but this is their chance to stake a claim to a shirt.
“I am looking for us to put in another improved performance and if we win it would be great or it pick up a bonus point which will keep us moving in the right direction.”