Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: Hemel Stags v Oxford

Hemel Stags coach Troy Perkins won’t be taking too much notice of Oxford’s defeat by Swinton Lions.

“I don’t think you can read too much into it when southern teams get hammered by some of the northern clubs,” he said.

“We’ve experienced it a few times and bounced back the week after. They’re a decent team with some experienced players.

“We’re focusing on getting a result. We’ve put together a couple decent performances recently so hopefully we can get a win in our last home game of the season.”

Oxford were beaten 84-16 at Swinton on Monday and coach Tim Rumford admitted: “We’re up against it and we’re running out of players but it presents opportunities for some who haven’t played a lot.

“I suppose in one way it gives us a heads-up for our plans for next year, which we’re working on now. We get to look at a few people maybe a little bit earlier that we wanted to and a few people we were planning on blooding next year will get a bit of a go this year.

“We’ve played a couple of times at Hemel this year because they very kindly allowed us to use their ground while our own ground was under maintenance. We’ve got a good relationship with them but obviously that will be on the back burner this week.

“We’ve beaten them twice this year already, so they’ll be firing. They’ll look at our last result and be sensing an opportunity. We need to have a bit of resolve about us but first we have to turn up and defend.”

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