Basingstoke RFC aim to make the most of home advantage and climb the league

'Stoke's leading try-scorer, Gavin Dampies, scored twice in his side's last home game.

'Stoke's leading try-scorer, Gavin Dampies, scored twice in his side's last home game. Buy this photo

First published in Rugby by , Sports Reporter

HOME rule is what Basingstoke RFC will be looking to establish as their next three National League Three London games are all at Down Grange – starting with a visit from Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.

’Stoke are keen to climb up the table and build on their successful start to 2014, which saw them win at Thurrock last weekend.

Basingstoke RFC director of rugby James Croker said: “We have to make this spell of home games count. We play our best rugby at home in front of a big crowd, so I really hope loads of people are there on Saturday.”

'Stoke will also be on a revenge mission as Bury St Edmunds won 25-10 when the sides met in Suffolk earlier in the season, the scores having been locked at 7-7 going in at half-time.

This was at a time when newly promoted Basingstoke were still trying to find their feet at this level, which they have since and now they will be gunning for their visitors.

Their home form has been good and they only lost narrowly 35-31 to top four side Tonbridge last time out at Down Grange.

Having blown away the cobwebs last Saturday with a victory in Thurrock, their first outing in three weeks, ’Stoke are now looking to take another scalp on home soil.

Basingstoke RFC’s director of rugby James Croker said: “We lost the game at their place thanks to two 10-minute spells at the start and the end of the second-half.

“They have a lightweight pack and very technically astute backs who played well on a firm surface.”

Croker added: “The rain and the mud may well not be to their liking, so this could be the best time to play them at our place.

“We have been stealing the ball in the backs and must take advantage of this.”

’Stoke have kept most of the 15 that won at Thurrock, with only two forced changes.

Toby Salmon comes into the second row for Rob Durham and Ryan Trevaskis replaces fly-half Adam Davies.

Trevaskis had a really good game away at leaders Dorking and now gets the chance in a home game.

Croker said: “We could have changed things around with Steve Hicks, Matt Horne and Rob Clark all fit again, but I feel the guys played well at Thurrock and they deserve to keep their places.

“We are looking forward to a big crowd, putting on a show and starting this run of three home games with a win.”

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