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Essex One: Dagenham head coach Mark Collins prepared for Billericay and challenge of ‘unique pitch’

16:30 21 September 2016

Dagenham head coach Mark Collins watches on from the sidelines (pic: Tim Edwards).

Dagenham head coach Mark Collins watches on from the sidelines (pic: Tim Edwards).

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Central Park club will have Chris Rawlinson and Lee Dyer available for this weekend’s fixture

Dagenham will resume their Essex One campaign this weekend when they travel to Billericay and head coach Mark Collins is hopeful they can pick up some rewards.

The Central Park club went down 38-21 at Pegasus on the opening day, before having last Saturday off.

It was a bizarre free weekend for all teams in the Essex One despite only just going returning to rugby.

Billericay also suffered a defeat on the opening day of the season as they lost 36-3 at Millwall.

Both teams will therefore be trying to get off the mark in the division on Saturday, but Collins is on his guard.

“We are going there and it is always difficult at Billericay because they have a unique pitch,” said Collins.

“It goes up and then down and they are very good at playing on it, but we are looking forward to the match and the challenge.

“Millwall beat Billericay on the opening weekend and I had a chat with their coach to see what Billericay are all about.

“They will have a big pack and they will do their best to utilise that and we know what to expect.

“If we play the right team and have everybody available then I feel we can be a match for anybody in this league.”

Another boost for the D’s this weekend is the return of captain Chris Rawlinson.

He missed the first match of the campaign at Pegasus because he was getting married, but he is available again now.

Vice-captain Lee Dyer is also set to feature for the first time this season at Willowbrook.

Collins added: “I’m looking forward to having Chris back and Lee has been missing as well due to work and other commitments.

“This weekend we’ll have our first-team captain and vice-skipper back so that will bring a bit of leadership.

“It is all about availability really and if you can get all of the boys there on a Saturday then it is all right.”

With two of their most experienced players back this weekend, Dagenham will hope it can make a big difference on the field.

The former Romford & Gidea Park head coach felt they were unlucky not to take a point from their opening fixture of the season at Pegasus.

“We were unfortunate last time out not to come away with a losing bonus point and we dropped a couple of tries. We got close to levelling the scores at one point and it was just a little bit of inexperience which cost us,” said Collins.

“I couldn’t fault the boys because they played their hearts out, but we could have definitely taken two points from the match. Four probably wasn’t in the equation but we could have got the four try bonus point and the losing bonus point.”

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