DEFIANT scrum-half Sam Hardcastle insists Bournemouth's battle to avoid the drop is far from over after boldly declaring: “We are not down and out yet!”

Lions' record points scorer and his team-mates make the long trip to seventh-placed Cambridge on Saturday (3pm) aiming to keep on track their slim National South Two survival hopes.

After beating backmarkers Exmouth last weekend, the Chapel Gate outfit have six games to make up the 13-point gap to fourth-bottom Dings Crusaders and save their tumultuous season.

But with a game in hand Hardcastle believes Bournemouth can still escape the drop - as long as they can triumph against the teams around them.

Hardcastle said: “The victory over Exmouth keeps the heat off a little bit but Cambridge are a good side who will make life difficult for us if we let them.

“They came from the league above so know what needs to be done to win games and they seem to have an all-round team.

“All we can do is just focus on set pieces and doing the simple stuff well which, hopefully, will give us the platform to play and impose our style on the game.

“It will be a tough one, but we went to Bishop's Stortford earlier in the season where no-one expected us to win and came away with a bonus-point victory.

“After that, we have got the two teams directly above us coming up so we are not down and out yet.

“On our day we can beat anyone and it is only when we start worrying about other teams that we start to slip up a little bit.”

Alan Manning will face a late fitness test on a hand injury.

Lions: (from) Lynch, Roberts, Stewart, Chislett, Westcott, Metters, Hardcastle, Spikings, Wilford, Wiseman, Peart, Rees, Hart, Dunkerley, Booth, Khamoian, Burns, Scott, Sutherland, Berthonneau, Manning.

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