Rugby Union: Barking director of rugby Andrew Moreland expects Dover to have extra motivation for London Two South East match
PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 February 2018
Gale Street club had to concede reverse fixture in October after string of injuries
Barking director of rugby Andrew Moreland knows not fielding a team at Dover earlier in the season will give the Kent club added motivation in London Two South East this weekend.
The Gale Street club welcome Dover in the league on Saturday, still searching for their first win of the season.
Barking were due to visit Dover at the end of October, but had to concede that game following a string of injuries.
And Moreland is aware that the frustration of not playing that day may still be fresh in the minds of the Dover squad ahead of Saturday’s return game.
“We have to be up for it. It was unfortunate that we had to concede that game earlier in the season and that will be added motivation for Dover this weekend,” he said.
“The boys have to be aware of that and be ready for it, but we’re in a different place now and in a much better position in terms of squad depth.
“We have to be on point in defence and we have to show ‘controlled aggression’. If you hit someone hard early, they won’t want to come back at you too often.”
Barking have been without a game since suffering a 107-0 defeat away to Hove in the league on February 3.
It means they will have not played for two weeks prior to taking to the field against Dover on Saturday.
But Moreland feels the gap in fixtures will have helped the Gale Street club, especially with the mental side of the sport.
“The gap has helped us recover mentally, especially after the game against Hove,” he added.
“After that game, we needed to re-evaluate where we were and the break has helped us do that.
“We have good availability for the game this weekend on the whole, though there are one or two that are away because of the half-term.
“That gives others an opportunity to come into the team and hopefully they can take their chance.”
As for what to expect this weekend, Moreland feels he knows how Dover might play, especially given the weather, despite not playing against them for more than a decade.
“Historically Dover are a forwards team, but there is still an element of the unknown this weekend,” he said.
“With the weather not the best, I don’t expect it to be a game a purist would enjoy!”