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Rugby Union: Barking head coach Ollie Smith says vital run follows trip to North Walsham

PUBLISHED: 14:00 12 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:53 12 January 2017

Barking head coach Ollie Smith (pic: Paul Page)

Barking head coach Ollie Smith (pic: Paul Page)

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Gale Street club head to Norfolk this weekend, but boss is looking ahead

Barking make the long trip to North Walsham in London One North this weekend, but head coach Ollie Smith is already looking past that fixture.

After making the long journey to Norfolk on Saturday, the Gale Street club then have games to come against Sudbury, Chelmsford and Old Priorians in their following three fixtures.

All three of those clubs are, like Barking, positioned nearer the bottom of the table, so Smith is aware how important it is to pick up points in those matches.

However, the former British & Irish Lions tourist knows he must first do his best to find a way past North Walsham, who currently sit fifth in the standings.

“North Walsham will be a tough game, but the three matches that follow after it are all must-wins for us,” he said.

“Against Saffron Walden, there were some individual errors which led to tries, but that’s fine and is something we can work on.

“Despite the loss, the performance seems to have given us a renewed energy and we hope we can take that into this weekend.”

Barking face a round trip of 240 mles from their Gale Street base to North Walsham this weekend, by far the furthest they will travel this season.

But the distance is of little concern to Smith, who says Barking cannot use the journey as an excuse should they turn in a less than satisfactory performance.

“The trip is a test of character, but we can’t blame that if we don’t turn up come Saturday afternoon,” added the former Leicester Tigers centre.

“We’ve put things in place to make sure we cope with the journey, such as taking a couple of stops on the way and it’s only two-and-a-half hours.

“When I first came in and it looked like we would be in Two North East before the reprieve, we were looking at trips to places like Norwich and Diss, so the fact we only have one to worry about is far more ideal.”

Barking head to Norfolk off the back of a 38-32 loss at home to Saffron Walden last weekend, though they were able to pick up two losing bonus points after scoring four tries and going down by less than seven points to their rivals.


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