Barnstaple seek way to beat Weston-super-Mare in National Three south west
BARNSTAPLE have spent the week trying to work out how to do what only three National Three south west teams have managed this season – beat Weston-super-Mare.
The Somerset side arrive for tomorrow's match at Pottington Road (2.30pm) in third place, six points behind leaders London Irish Wild Geese.
Only high-flyers Redingensians, Exmouth and Newton Abbot have defeated Weston in 16 games.
Barnstaple were well beaten in the away fixture in September. An error-strewn display saw the visitors lose 47-24, with 22 points coming from the boot of Weston's James Mackay.
Kevin Squire, the Barnstaple director of rugby, said: "I felt we had a really bad day at the office up there.
"It was our worst performance of the season but they have done it to other teams as well.
"I hope the supporters get behind us and if everyone plays to the best of their ability we are a different proposition at home.
"They are huge up front, and that's worrying, but we have played big sides and done OK against them this season.
"We know where their strengths and weaknesses are and will be trying to expose those weaknesses and come up with a defensive strategy to counteract their strengths.
"If we get it right on the day, we can beat anyone at this level. We must turn up very positive and confident of what we can do."
Barnstaple will have to keep their discipline as Mackay is likely to punish any transgression.
The fly half is the leading kicker in National Three south west this season with 156 points from 45 conversions and 22 penalties. He has also scored two tries. Only Andrew Powell, the Exmouth fly half, has scored more points, with 203.
Barnstaple have won their last two home meetings with Weston – 19-8 in April 2011 and 27-16 in December 2011.
Barnstaple: Will Topps; Tom Heard, Linford Brock, Ryan Carter, Toby Williamson; Steve Perry, Ross Williamson; Mark Berry, Sam Roberts, Joe Bussell, Matt Gohl, Kele Taofinu'u, Mike Sumner, Winston James (capt), James Comber.
Weston-super-Mare: Ross Bennett; James Arnold/Harry Jones, Sam Smee, Sylvan Edwards, Matt Watkins; James Mackay, Dan Waldon; David Swann, Dave Burge (capt), Phil Hobbs, Harry Somers, Ash Russell, Shaun Eaton, Paul Morrissey, George Sparks. Reps: Steve Donegan, Andy Glen, James Arnold/Harry Jones.