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Hartpury ready for Southend challenge

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

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WARY boss Alan Martinovic is not letting leaders Hartpury rest on their National Two laurels, as a trip to Southend beckons tomorrow (2.30pm).

Director of rugby Martinovic was happy with his side’s 40-13 victory over Launceston last weekend.

Despite the win opening up the gap at the top of the table to 12 points once again, it also ensured that losing was not threatening to become a habit, after a 31-21 defeat to Cambridge the weekend before. But now fifth-placed Southend pose another threat to Hartpury.

Martinovic said: “We have a good idea what to expect and they know what to expect from us.

“They will work very hard to disrupt the way we are playing and we have to understand that and prepare for that, and try to respond to that in the right way.

“I fully expect them to make life difficult for us, but that is part of the price you pay for being at the top of the table.

“Last week was a good response to the Cambridge defeat. We didn’t want to let that result become a habit.

“They played with a much better tempo and improved on individual areas too. And besides the final try, we defended exceptionally well.

“But we still have a huge amount of work to do, with some tough away fixtures playing the top half of the table.”

Up-and-coming talent Ross Moriarty, Lewis Ludlow, Billy Burns and Jonny Hill return from England Under-20 training camp for the game while Wayne Thompson may be ruled out with illness.

Otherwise, Hartpury will field a fully fit squad for another difficult fixture.

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