We’re rested and ready to be tested

Ashley Coates. Photo: David Dales.
Ashley Coates. Photo: David Dales.

Boston Rugby Club are looking to regain their momentum following a blank week as they host struggling Gainsborough on Saturday.

The fixture may pit two sides with differing fortunes against one another, but head coach Ashley Coates refuses to take the basement side lightly.

“We want another big performance, but it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, we respect everyone in the league,” said Coates, who confesses to facing a tough challenge before the two Midlands 4 East (North) rivals even meet one another.

“The worst part is selecting the team.

“We’ve got the Development side doing really well and it’s hard telling good players they’re not in the first team one week when you know they’ve done enough to deserve a place.”

Gainsborough arrive at the Princess Royal Sports Arena three points adrift at the foot of the table, on the back of seven straight defeats.

In stark contrast, Boston have won their last seven, including victories over the top two, East Retford and Cleethorpes, in their previous two matches.

But despite the Blue and Whites being on a roll, Coates believes last weekend’s break in action was a welcome rest.

“I think it’s come at a good time,” he said.

“We’ve had a really tough January; the fixtures have been relentless.

“Having the chance to take a break and reflect on what we’ve achieved is nice.

“I think we’re ready for the break. It can become a challenge for them if they’re playing tough games week after week. It’s physically tough.

“It gives us the chance to take a bit of a break before we try to replicate what we did before.”

Even without a fixture at the weekend, a number of players and staff still met up at the Boardsides to watch the Ireland versus England Six Nations contest.

And Coates believes that such camaraderie, coupled with the club’s recent form, could be pivotal as Boston hope to chase promotion next season.

“I half-expected the lads to say they were all going to go off shopping at the weekend,” the head coach continued.

“But it shows what a good atmosphere we’re building at the place.

“We believe we can go up. I believe in my players. We have to do what we’ve been doing for a whole season now.”

Saturday’s match kicks off at 2.15pm.