Hartpury must cope with Canterbury slope
HARTPURY head coach John Barnes says his side face an uphill task for their National Two South trip to Canterbury tomorrow.
Seventh-placed Canterbury have enjoyed just two games at their home ground this season but boast an impressive record, beating Chinnor 21-20 and thumping Barking 74-15.
Barnes says his players will have their work cut out to crack the Canterbury cauldron following a long trip to the South East.
"The pitch and conditions could make all the difference. It really could be a game of two halves," said Barnes.
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"The pitch slopes quite heavily from one end to the other and it's something they'll be used to playing on whereas a lot of our boys won't have experienced it before.
"It's one of our longest trips of the season, with travelling time around about eight hours in total.
"But we need to put that to one side and get there with plenty of time to spare to make sure that by the whistle we are raring to go."
Canterbury go into the fixture on the back of a 36-19 defeat at second-placed side Redruth, who currently sit just once place above Hartpury in the table.
Hartpury are one of only three teams still unbeaten in the division, following a draw and four wins.
The most recent victory came last week at the expense of a Barking side who were blown away 62-6 and prop up the foot of the table.
Despite the convincing home win, Barnes says his team cannot afford to make any of the mistakes they did last week.
"Despite last weekend's score, there are still certain things that we need to work on and things that we can do better," added Barnes.
"All credit to Barking, but if we make some of the mistakes like we did against them, we'll find it hard to beat teams like Canterbury. We need to keep the momentum going, putting in good performances and keep pushing up the table.
"We've made a good start and I'd like to keep that going."