Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: Hemel Stags v University of Gloucestershire All Golds

Hemel Stags were hammered 70-6 by Oldham last time out.

Coach Troy Perkins said: “After 35 minutes it was 10-6 to Oldham and there wasn’t much between the two teams. We conceded two tries just before half–time which put them out to a decent lead and in the second half it was pretty one-sided. That tends to happen once you’re on the back foot against a good team.

“We defended for pretty much the whole of the second half and it just took its toll. Our defence at times was very, very poor but we didn’t have much ball which just sapped the energy.

“The All Golds had a good win and they’ll be coming to our place full of confidence. They’ve added a couple of French guys to their squad and it looks like they’ve improved the team.

“We all want to be the top southern team and I think the result in this game will go a long way to determining that. It’s going to be a tough test.”

Skipper BJ Swindells is available after a month on the sidelines.

University of Gloucestershire All Goldsbecame the first southern team to beat a northern side in over a year following their 26-10 victory over Newcastle Thunder.

Coach Lee Greenwood said: “It’s always good in any sport when you win a game you’re not expected to win. The lads were really chuffed after the game and the few supporters we have and everyone behind the scenes were really happy.

“Newcastle are a bit further ahead in their development than we are so it was good to get the win and it was fully deserved. Our defence was outstanding and if we can defend like that we can go on little run until the end of the season.”

Looking ahead to the trip to Hemel Stags he said: “What you find is that some of the southern teams target these games as must-wins.

“We don’t do that, I try and prepare them to win every game. I think it’s a mentality thing. When southern teams play other southern teams they raise the bar a little bit and I’m sure Hemel will do that on Sunday.

“We’ve got to make sure we do the same.”

The will be without loose forward Joe McClean, who was suspended for two games after being sent off against North Wales Crusaders.

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