December 9, 2021 Albion

After the demolition of Darlington Mowden Park last weekend, the Albion faithful will be hoping for more of the same as a resurgent Leeds tykes come to the Ocean City. Having racked up 49 points in a very heartening win, they face the second most Northern team in National Division One who visit the Brickfields on the back of their most impressive run this term.

Wins over Cambridge (15-17) and Tonbridge (21-19) have seen the team leap from the bottom of the table to just beneath Albion and they will certainly be targeting the game against an Albion side boasting 4 wins in their last 7 games. Coached by rugby legend Phil Davies this will be a stern test for Albion and one that also sees a master and apprentice match up from the coaching side.

Many years previously, Albion head coach Damian Welch was coached by the Leeds supremo when he was at Cardiff RFC and he is very much excited about the reunion with his old coach, talking about the game he said “they’re very hard working, very direct and work for 80 minutes so that is where their results have been coming from. They are fifteen guys willing to go out and fight for each other which is nice to see. This will be a really good test for us to see where we are at and hopefully, we can push through. Both teams are coming off good results so there will be some confidence either way and it should be a really good game”

Indeed, looking at the Leeds team they are certainly an 80-minute challenge and, very much like Albion, have been improving week on week with every more impressive results. A win this week for Albion could see a bounce from 12th to 8th in the table and set up a mouth-watering clash away at out of form Taunton Titans next week so it is certainly all to play for.

The Albion team is unchanged from last week (a first for the season) and there is growing optimism that the game plan laid out by coaches Welch and Lamb is starting to bear fruit. On the back of winning the National League One player of the Week, four-try hero Max Norey spearheads the forward pack that will be looking to set the platform for another dominant performance.

Out wide Royal Marine, Craig Duncan remains in place at fullback after a sterling run on debut and will be hoping for another strong showing as there is a fair contingent from 42 Commando on leave at the game to cheer him on. On the back of an equally impressive performance, Cameron Setter continues at scrum-half and his high tempo play will be a key to Albion’s success. Top try scorer Alex Ducker misses out for a second week as an ankle niggle has not quite healed in time.

With no rugby at the Brickfields until January 8th this is the last chance to cheer on the team as they bid farewell to one of the toughest calendar years in the club’s history and promises to be another intriguing game in the fascinating League One fixture list

By Chris Bentley