Upminster expect tough Lowestoft test

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 January 2017

Latest news from the local rugby scene (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Latest news from the local rugby scene (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Murphy knows away fixture will be much different

Upminster’s director of rugby Scott Murphy expects a tough test at London Three North East rivals Lowestoft tomorrow (Saturday).

The Hall Lane club ran out emphatic 85-0 winners when the two sides met in Essex earlier this season, but Murphy knows their trip to the Suffolk coast will be a different story.

“We expect a tough game, even though we put 85 unanswered points on them at home,” he said.

“We would be stupid to go there expecting to do the same. They don’t travel so well, but they’re stronger at home.

“They’re have a tough time, no doubt, but they’ve still got some quality players that we need to take care of.

“We’re looking like we will have 16 of the 18 players from last Saturday available, so it’s the first time in a long time that we will have minimal changes.”

Upminster scored 24 unanswered points in the second half of their clash with Ilford last weekend to claim a 34-10 win.

Alfie Simmonett scored two tries, with Nico Maivuya, George Cox and Chris Lamb also touching down in the bonus-point triumph.

And the club have received a further boost with the arrival of experienced coach Dean Cutting, with Murphy adding: “We spoke just before Christmas as he’d finished with Epping Upper Clapton and he will work alongside Scott Kennedy for the rest of the season.

“Dean has got a proven coaching record and had success everywhere he has gone. He has got lots to offer and our young players will benefit a huge amount. The aim is to develop the young players and help them push on.

“He will also pass on his words of wisdom to his fellow coaches who are new on their journey.

“It’s a massive coup for the club to get him on board and we need to maximise his potential.”

Having made it back-to-back wins with success over Ilford, following their pre-Christmas victory at Basildon, Murphy is hoping they can maintain momentum in the second half of the season.

But he is under no illusions about the task facing his side, adding: “We let ourselves down in the back end of 2016. We started the season really well, then went the complete opposite.

“It was tough and we don’t want to allow it again. We want to right the wrongs against the teams who beat us and finish strongly in the league.

“We’ve got aspirations to finish as high as we can, but it’s a competitive league this season.”

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