POOLE co-promoter Danny Ford hopes Pirates will get most of their injured stars back within the next fortnight after a makeshift side crashed to a 57-33 loss at King’s Lynn.

The Dorset side went to the Adrian Flux Arena tonight with just three of their regular septet with Brady Kurtz (head), Nico Covatti (ribs), Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen (appendix) and Richie Worrall (broken ankle) all sidelined.

Aussie ace Jack Holder impressed with 11 paid 12 points in the SGB Premiership fixture, while Nicolai Klindt tallied 10 and skipper Josh Grajczonek scored six.

But with guests Aaron Summers (3), Kyle Newman (3) and Ricky Wells (0) managing just six between them, they were always up against it as their 2018 play-off final rivals ran riot.

Ford hopes to get the Poole regulars back on track soon and knew the trip to Norfolk was always going to be tough.

He said: “We went into the meeting with only three of our regulars in the team. To be honest, we went there hoping for a better performance than that, but we were always going to be up against it.

“We have been quite lucky with results so far considering the injuries we have been suffering with, so it was probably our turn. It was a wake-up call, but we’ll move on.

“We should be welcoming a few of our riders back in the next week or so. That will have a massive impact on the team and having them there could have potentially changed the result.

“Obviously missing Brady and Nico – both of whom are in fantastic form – did hurt. We knew we were going there with less than half a team. You can’t expect to always be competitive if you are missing that many riders. Josh had a slow start, but picked up towards the end with a couple of heat wins. I guess he couldn’t find the setup at the start. The regular three aren’t an issue. We brought in some guests and they just didn’t do it for us.

“But with all the other teams riding, we were limited in who we could bring in on such short notice.”

Ford is expecting another patched-up side to travel to Ipswich on Thursday as he awaits the return of Kurtz, Covatti and Busk Jakobsen and seeks a replacement for Worrall, who faces an absolute minimum of six weeks out.

With Worrall placed fifth in the Poole averages on 5.26, rider replacement is a poor substitute and there are few riders available of his ability on such a low figure. So Ford admits recruiting a new rider is no simple task.

He said: “You hear people say ‘bring someone in.’ But it isn’t that easy. It’s really tough to find guys, and especially ones that fit within the averages.

“Richie has had an operation on his ankle after breaking it in four places. His rehabilitation is going to take a while.

“Hopefully if it all goes well, he might be out for six weeks. If it doesn’t and he doesn’t feel up to it, it may well be that his season is over. We don’t know at this stage. It’s just a waiting game unfortunately.

“If possible, we are looking to bring someone in place of Richie. But it is hard finding someone.

“Against Ipswich we will probably be a makeshift team again. Hopefully we can put together a stronger team line-up than we did last night. It’s going to be another tough one, but we will look to do our best.

“Our regular three guys put in fairly solid performances, but there just seems to be an absolute shortage of riders at the moment.”