Rugby Union: Barking head coach Ollie Smith says little will change in approach after relegation was confirmed

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 March 2017

Barking head coach Ollie Smith (pic: Paul Page)

Barking head coach Ollie Smith (pic: Paul Page)


Former Harlequins backs reveals it will be business as usual until the end of the term

Barking head coach Ollie Smith insists the club will continue to work hard in training after relegation from London One North was confirmed, writes Ned Keating.

A 59-26 defeat at home to Ruislip at the weekend means the Gale Street club are guaranteed to finish in the relegation zone this term.

Barking are without a match this weekend, but still have four games left before the end of the season, and Smith insists the focus will now be on ensuring the club are in a good place at the start of the next campaign.

“Training will be the same as it has been all season and we’ll be looking to improve week on week,” he said.

“You’re always learning, and the challenge is not to make the same mistakes you have made in one game again in the next.

“We’ve come so far this season and laid the foundations for next year, but winning promotion is not something that will happen overnight.

“It has to start right away and if we can continue to improve over the next four or five months, we could start next season as a very good outfit.”

Despite the loss, Barking were able to pick up a bonus point on Saturday after scoring four tries against Ruislip.

Conrad Nicholaou, Teddy Hepworth, Darren Bowles and Jack Pearce all crossed for the Gale Street club to ensure they had something to show for their efforts in defeat.

Smith chose that match to give an opportunity to some of the players at the club to prove their worth ahead of next season, and says he will continue to do the same until the end of the campaign.

“In the games that we have left, I’ll be giving more guys an opportunity to prove their worth,” he added.

“Take Conrad, for example. His defence against Ruislip was oustanding and it’s guys like him who need the minutes.

“They’re not quite there yet, but if they get the game time, they will improve and these are the kind of players with which we need to prove.”

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