BOURNEMOUTH head coach Will Croker insisted his troops were relishing the opportunity of securing their play-off destiny.

Lions host promotion rivals Newton Abbot at Chapel Gate on Saturday (3pm) knowing victory would seal second spot in South West Premier.

Triumphs over Ivybridge, Maidenhead and Brixham have helped Bournemouth surge to the top two behind champions Dings Crusaders.

But with the Devon-based All Whites still a part of the play-off shake-up in fourth position, Croker is fully aware his side need to seize their chance.

He told the Daily Echo: “This is our opportunity to put it to bed.

“The boys were saying their bodies were hurting more from last weekend than any other game this season – but yet they still cannot wait to get out there.

“We are conscious of the fact we want to keep up this momentum, win this game, play Newbury and then get straight into a play-off if we can.

“You get involved in rugby not to be an also-ran and finish in mid-table. This is why you do it, you want to be involved in these games.

“Playing against Newton Abbot, who are one of the best teams in the division and are still chasing for a play-off place, adds to it.

“We know they will be gunning for us. They should be fresh, we expect them to bring fire with them and have to be ready to counter it.”

Lions ran in seven tries during a 48-34 triumph when the teams met at Rackerhayes in December.

Newton Abbot, who saw their home clash with Newbury Blues postponed on Saturday, have lost their past four fixtures.

Croker added: “They have gone through a bit of a slump over the past few weeks. I am not sure of the reasons for that.

“We know they are going to be trying to arrest that slide and get themselves back in the play-off hunt.

"They are known for having a big, powerful pack. They have a very talented hooker who is their captain and a big six who is a strong runner.

“We believe we have the try-scoring ability in our backs to challenge most people. What we have to do is show that patience, resilience and ambition.

"Our game plan won’t change. It has worked for the past three league games and now we have to deliver one more time at home.”

Alex Sutherland returns to the bench for Lions in place of Harry Davis, who is set to make the trip to play in Australia.

Lions: Kirkpatrick, Everett-Bolter, Gleadowe, Chislett, Stewart, Hancox, Hardcastle; Spiller, Manning, Firetto, Carkeet, Hennings, Sharp, Bennett, Rees. Replacements: Fraser, Treloar, Sutherland.