Hartpury aim to continue away form
AFTER taking points from faraway places like Launceston and Canterbury, Hartpury are relishing the short National Two South trip to county rivals Lydney tomorrow.
The division's third placed side have shown themselves to be good travellers so far this season by boasting a road record of four wins, one draw and no defeats.
Lydney meanwhile have struggled to secure a win either at home or away with just the solitary bonus-point success over rock-bottom Barking coming in the opening match of the season.
But Hartpury head coach John Barnes is more than familiar with the Regentsholme outfit from his Clifton days and knows their near neighbours will be a tough proposition.
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"Results haven't really gone for Lydney so far this season," said former Clifton kicker Barnes.
"But when you look at it they've had some very narrow defeats and quite a few by only one score or less.
"We certainly won't be underestimating them at the weekend and can look forward to a warm reception at Regentsholme."
Hartpury head into tomorrow's local derby full of confidence after producing their best performance of the season so far in the convincing 47-15 win over Redruth last week.
Barnes' men will be hoping to reinforce their title charge further with another win as the two teams above them, leaders Henley and second-placed side Shelford, both face potentially tricky away games at fifth and sixth placed Worthing and Chinnor respectively.
But for physical Hartpury centre Seb Rodwell, the potentially intimidating atmosphere of a local derby is something that is not lost on him.
Many members of the Hartpury squad do not hail from the Gloucestershire area originally but the Italian powerhouse said the squad are more than aware that local bragging rights are up for grabs.
"I don't feel it as much as some of the Gloucester boys and some of the boys who have been at Hartpury for quite a few years, for example," said Rodwell.
"But I know how important it is to us and it will be a big game.
"They are going to come full of confidence and believing that they can beat us.
"It's up to us, whatever team goes out, to know that we are capable of winning."