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Pre-season pain sees Bournemouth gain
7:03pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in Rugby
DIRECTOR of rugby Budge Pountney believes Bournemouth are reaping the rewards of a gruelling pre-season schedule as they prepare to host Redruth on Saturday (2.30pm).
Lions were unfortunate not to emerge victorious from their away day at Shelford after Elliot Bale rescued a last-ditch 26-26 draw for the hosts at Davey Field last weekend.
But having won three out of three on home soil, Pountney's charges have made a strong start to their second season in National Two South and sit pretty in third place.
And the former Scotland captain said he was certain his side would have struggled to produce their high-tempo style of rugby had they not put in the hard graft ahead of their campaign.
Pountney said: “The players took on board the fact they needed to get fitter and that has had a huge effect on what we do on the pitch.
“We inherited a great set-up, but there have been things we have tinkered with to make sure the players can perform to their best at the weekend.
“They include lots of things in and around team training, and while they may not seem much, they have had a great effect.”
Meanwhile, the Lions chief is relying on another strong start at Chapel Gate to take full advantage of Redruth's patchy opening.
The Cornish big guns, who finished fourth last season, have won two of their five fixtures and have yet to taste success on the road.
And with Bournemouth's competition for places reaching fever pitch, Pountney called on those selected to hit the ground running against their illustrious opponents.
“Any Cornish side will be physical and big, especially in the pack. The difficulty for them is wherever you go it can be a long journey,” added Pountney.
“There are only one or two local derbies in this league and they will have travelled a long way before the game so we have to make sure that has an effect on them and start really well.
“Our second team are keeping up the pressure on the boys at the moment and a number of them will be in contention this week because they are really forcing the issue.
“They know we are filming their games and many are putting on very strong performances. Our team selection will be a very tough call.”
Lions: (from) Metters, Westcott, K Lynch, McGowan, Chislett, Sutherland, Drake, Hardcastle, Spikings, Burns, Wilford, Manning, Fuller, Hennings, Graesser, Hart, Hughes, Atkinson, Booth, Rees.
- SSE is a proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues and supports community rugby clubs throughout England to help them save money on their energy bills. To find out more visit, www.SSErugby.com
In Southern Counties South, Swanage & Wareham host Trowbridge while Wimborne entertain Ivel Barbarians.
In the Dorset & Wilts League, Oakmeadians are away to Westbury in One South while Dorset Dockers make the short trip to Puddletown in Two South.
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