Rugby: Lions chairman wary of a Hartpury backlash

Bournemouth Echo: LIONS CHIEF: Denis Eveleigh LIONS CHIEF: Denis Eveleigh

BOURNEMOUTH rugby chairman Denis Eveleigh is gearing up for a tough day at the office on Saturday as his side travel to table-toppers Hartpury College.

The Gloucestershire outfit are 12 points clear at the summit of SSE National League Two South, while a 13-game losing streak has left Bournemouth one place off the bottom.

Eveleigh warned that Cambridge’s shock victory over Hartpury last weekend was indebted to selection problems and will only serve to fuel their determination.

And he has told director of rugby Budge Pountney that his side will face a wounded animal when the two sides clash this weekend.

“Hartpury are flying high at the top of the table so it’s going to be a very tough game for us,” he said.

“They had quite a few players out last weekend in representative sides, either England juniors or with Gloucester in the LV= Cup, so I’m sure that would have helped Cambridge.

“They are an ambitious club and will be hurting from that result and they will be looking to bounce back against us.”

The reverse fixture at Chapel Gate ended in a 50-12 defeat, with Ross McGowan and Jack Hennings registering Bournemouth’s only tries as the visitors ran riot.

Pountney’s side may have fresher legs however, having been spared playing the top two in succession as a result of last weekend’s encounter with Canterbury being postponed.

With 17 points required from the remaining 11 fixtures, Eveleigh is not hiding how hard survival will be but claimed that bad luck has had a say in Lions’ campaign.

“The pre-season injuries set us back a bit and we never really recovered from that,” he added.

“We are not talking about relegation but it doesn’t take Einstein to work out that its going to take some pretty incredible results to get us out of it.”

“Although the first team, which is our flagship, are struggling a bit at the moment, the club as a whole is doing okay. We have an very positive academy.”

  •  SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 worth of mobile floodlights for your club to win. To find out how to enter go to www.SSERugby.com

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