Rugby Union: Barking head coach Ollie Smith targets Ruislip clash as chance to end long wait for win in London One North
PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 March 2017
Gale Street club have not triumphed since October
Barking head coach Ollie Smith says Saturday’s clash with Ruislip offers London One North’s bottom club a chance to bring their dreadful losing run to an end.
The Gale Street club have lost each of their last 15 league matches, with their latest setback an 88-0 defeat at Chingford on Saturday.
Ruislip are Barking’s visitors this weekend, before Smith’s boys make the trip to Fullerians two weeks later, and the former British & Irish Lions tourist believes both matches offer the strugglers a good chance to end their long wait for a win.
“We’d love a positive result before the end of the season; we know we have to think about next year, but we can’t just throw the towel in,” said Smith.
“The games against Ruislip and Fullerians are a chance for us to really have a go as we have nothing to lose.
“I want the boys to show some pride and a will to win, I want them to know they need to give it a good crack and then see what happens.”
Failure to take the maximum five points against Ruislip on Saturday will see relegation confirmed for Barking, but Smith has realistically admitted that the Gale Street club are all but down.
However, the former Leicester Tigers back has set his club a new target before the end of the season – to avoid finishing bottom.
Six points currently separate Barking from Sudbury in 13th place, but Smith is confident his team can catch the Suffolk club before the end of the campaign.
“It is bridgeable gap, but we know we have to get a couple of wins to do it as our recent scores suggest we can’t rely on losing bonus points,” he added.
“We pushed Fullerians close when we played them earlier in the season and perhaps should have won, while against Ruislip we weren’t helped by having a number of players missing.
“Even if we do get a couple of wins, we’ll be hoping the likes of Sudbury and Chelmsford do not pick up any more points.
“It’d be lovely not to finish bottom, but we know results have to go our way for that to happen.”